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Full text of "Old Boston boys and the games they played"

F 7^7 £> S~, N\<i& 7 ^»y $ 





BOSTON 
PUBLIC 
LIBRARY 





Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Boston Public Library 



http://archive.org/details/oldbostonboysgam1906love 




Drawn by C. D. Gibson 

"A putty ball has been known to penetrate 

THE SIDE OF A TALL HAT " 



<pto 38o0ton BO50 



AND 



THE GAMES THEY PLAYED 



BY 



JAMES D'WOLF LOVETT 



FULLY ILLUSTRATED 




Boston 

JJrtoatelp printed at t\)t Etoerai&e fJresK 

1906 






1 

J 7 








COPYRIGHT I906 BY JAMES D'WOLF LOVETT 

3^- 'Y, f f^ 



FOREWORD 



IN February, 1904, 1 contributed to the 
" Boston Evening Transcript " a short 
sketch about coasting, as it used to 
be practiced by the Boston boys forty-five 
years ago. Many pleasant things were said 
about it, which amply repaid any efforts 
upon my part to make it readable, and then 
the matter dropped out of sight ; but re- 
cently it came to the notice of an old and 
dear friend of mine, — himself an old-time 
athlete, — who proposed that I should en- 
large upon it and write a collection of re- 
miniscences of our early boyhood. With 
his well-known generosity and enthusiasm, 
he proposed to give a dinner, to which 
should be invited a number of our friends 
and contemporaries, who in their day had 
been prominent oarsmen, cricketers, base- 



iv FOREWORD 

ball and football players, boxers, gymnasts, 
etc., for the purpose of bringing to light 
old events which might be available for 
my use. 

To say is to do with my friend, and this 
happy thought was promptly carried out. 
On November 29, 1904, a most delightful 
dinner was given at his residence on Com- 
monwealth Avenue, to which the following 
named gentlemen were invited : — 

GerritS. Miller, Horatio G. Curtis, John 

A. Lowell, William H. Alline, Prof. James 

B. Ames, Henry W. Lamb, John P. Hall, 
Laurence Curtis, Henry K. Bushnell, 
George R. Rogers, Edward N. Fenno, 
George A. Flagg, Dr. Robert M. Law- 
rence, Robert A. Boit, Robert S. Peabody. 
That the occasion was a complete success, 
and that an evening of rare enjoyment was 
the result, it is not necessary to say ; and 
to the exuberant flow of reminiscent con- 
versation which ensued I am indebted for 
much that may interest the old-timers in 
the following pages. 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



"A Putty Ball has been known to pene- 
trate the side of A tall hat " Frontispiece 
Drawn by C. D. Gibson 

Daniel Sargent, First Lieutenant, 24.TH Mass. 

\ Vol. Infantry 38 

Harvard 'Varsity Crew, 1866 54 

Robert F. Clark 56 

Volant and Huron Boat Race, June 16, 1857, 

showing Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes in a 

Wherry 58 

Harvard 'Varsity Crew, 1858 62 

Harvard Boat-Houses as they appeared in 

1862 64 

St. George Cricket Eleven, Hoboken, N. J., 

1861 76 

Gerrit S. Miller, and R. Clifford Watson 84 

John P. Hall 84 

James D'W. Lovett 84 

Old Football won by Oneida Football Club 

in 1863 92 

In possession of Gerrit Smith Miller (Captain) 

"Borodino" 102 

Drawn, at the age of 14, by Edwin H. Blashfield 



vi ILLUSTRATIONS 

"Lannes' Advance" 104 

Drawn, at the age of 14, by Edwin H. Blashfield 
Henry K. Bushnell, Half-Arm Hold . . . 108 

This position, taken before the time of snapshots, was 
retained from one and a quarter to one and a half 
minutes for this picture 

Thomas Kendrick, showing Arm Development 108 
Henry K. Bushnell, showing Back Develop- 
ment 108 

John C. Doldt, One-Arm Hold 108 

A Tremont Gymnasium Group no 

A Tremont Gymnasium Group (Caricature), no 

Harvard 'Varsity Crew, 1868 112 

Harvard-Oxford Crew, 1869 112 

Gymnasts at Tremont Gymnasium 116 

Lowell Baseball Nine, 1865 146 

Harvard Baseball Nine, 1867 J 54 

Thomas Nelson . . 172 

Lowell Baseball Nine, 1866 176 

"There were Fans in those days" . . . .180 

Drawn by C. D. Gibson 

Harvard Baseball Nine, 1868 182 

Lowell Baseball Club and " Rooters " . .184 

James D'W. Lovett 186 

John A. Lowell 186 

Mr. Lowell held the bat with no rest from one and a 
quarter to one and a half minutes 

M. Mortimer Rogers 186 

Lowell Baseball Nine, 1868 192 

George Wright ...» , . 202 



OLD BOSTON BOYS AND 
THE GAMES THEY PLAYED 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 

AND THE GAMES 

THEY PLAYED 

CHAPTER I 



IN deep-sea dredging many curious and 
unlooked-for things are brought to the 
surface, some of great value to the 
toiling scientist alone, others of interest to 
many ; but by far the greater part of the 
" haul " is tossed back again into the depths, 
where, no doubt, it will rest undisturbed 
forever. 

It seems to me that in some way resem- 
bling this process is the effort used in try- 
ing to recall scenes and incidents in one's 
life which lie buried beneath a half-cen- 
tury's collection of debris in memory's 



2 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

store -house. Many events long forgot- 
ten are brought to light, — some of which 
are of value only to the searcher; much 
rubbish is thrown back again into lasting 
oblivion, while other specimens are dis- 
covered that may be found to be of interest 
to a few to whom they will recall distant 
scenes, in some of which they took an ac- 
tive part. 

I hope I may be pardoned for holding 
up, for a passing glance, one find from the 
rubbish heap which appealed to my first 
boyish instincts, as I know it must have 
done to multitudes of other boys, before 
and since. This is a pair of diminutive, 
long-legged boots, — the first boots, — 
adorned with bright red tops, and upon the 
red field a golden eagle, rampant. These 
tiny boots were in a remarkable state of 
preservation ; the tops still of a vivid and 
magnificent red, and the eagle, all untar- 
nished by time, retaining his original bril- 
liancy. 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 3 

Among the most important events in a 
boy's life, the admission to his first " man's " 
school stands forth with prominence. I re- 
member the feeling of pride and awe which 
accompanied me upon the morning of my 
debut. It was a good school, and was kept 
by Mr. Franklin Phelps, who died but a 
few years ago, very aged, and, I believe, 
totally blind. He was a most worthy and 
estimable man, and will always be held by 
me, and, I am sure, by many others of his 
pupils, in grateful remembrance. A man 
of the old school, he was a born gentleman, 
and, while most kind-hearted, would stand 
no boy's nonsense, and always spoke 
straight to the point with the directness of 
a Toledo blade. 

The schoolroom was on the corner of 
Chestnut and Charles streets, over what 
was then Coolidge's provision store. It 
had a rough, bare floor, and rudely made 
desks and chairs, which bore many jack- 
knife testimonials of former occupants. 



4 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

The room was bare of ornaments or pic- 
tures of any description, save a big map 
hanging upon the white-plastered wall. 
Mr. Phelps lived on West Cedar Street, 
with Master Francis Gardner of the Public 
Latin School, and fitted boys for this latter 
school, — fitted them thoroughly and con- 
scientiously. 

In a little closet of a room leading off the 
schoolroom, he had set up a fine turning- 
lathe, and I can see him now with his apron 
of ticking, hard at work at recess, the boys 
watching him on rainy days. He was a 
skilled workman, and, besides useful knick- 
knacks, turned out many scholars who in 
after years did credit to his wise and 
manly example and precept. 

Among my schoolmates here were Bob 
Lawrence, Archie Howe, Harry Hovey, 
Horatio and Albert S. Bigelow, Edgar 
Curtis, Dennie Boardman, Jim Hawley, 
and Fred and Charlie Lyman. 

Mr. Phelps was scrupulously neat, and 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 5 

gave us many a wholesome talking to about 
" dragging in " mud upon our shoes. He 
was proud of his ability to keep his own 
spotless, and would often hold up one for 
our edification, point to it and exclaim, 
" Look at that ! not a speck upon it." I 
once heard him add, sotto voce, " I verily 
believe that boys would like to wallow." 

The drinking water was brought from 
Brown and Severance's livery stable oppo- 
site, and the boy selected for this duty was 
counted a lucky one, as it gave him the 
opportunity to snatch from the tail of one 
of the horses a few hairs, which later were 
surreptitiously braided into finger rings. 
Some of us will recall the taste of this water 
after it had stood in a pail that was painted 
inside. 

In view of the fact that boys of the pre- 
sent day leap with one bound, as it were, 
from swaddling bands into sack coats and 
all the appurtenances thereto, and wear full 
evening dress to their first party, it may be 



6 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

of interest to them to know that the boys 
of this earlier period arrived at that dignity 
only after three distinct and easy stages, 
to wit: first, the jacket, buttoned straight 
up the front to the neck (with a clean white 
linen collar "basted" in every day); this 
jacket was fastened to the trousers by a row 
of buttons at the waist line. In the second 
stage the buttons were discarded and the 
responsibility of sustaining the trousers was 
assumed by suspenders, and the delicious 
tug of the latter on the broadening shoul- 
ders was a constant reminder of the fact 
that the wearer was getting on to man's 
estate. The third stage was the "open 
jacket," as it was called; this involved a 
starched shirt bosom and vest, and was a 
proud, but at first a painfully conscious, 
period. Thus was the way paved to the 
full-blown sack coat and cutaway, and the 
boy then was, in his own estimation, a 
man. These stages gave the boy something 
always to look forward to, and kept him 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 7 

a boy for years, — something which was 
healthy and which the present youth seems 
to lack. 

There is one product, however, of the 
present time which boys do not lack, and of 
which we were (most mercifully) deprived. 
This is the lethal cigarette ; in those days 
one did not see anaemic looking lads (I had 
almost said infants) inhaling into their still 
immature lungs the poisonous smudge of 
burning nicotine. We must, however, plead 
guilty to having smoked sweet fern, tea, 
grapevine, and even rattan, but our lungs 
were reserved for what the Almighty in- 
tended them for, namely, pure air, and we 
got as much of it into them as we could. 

Our first lessons in athletics were learned 
in a vacant lot, just below the school, upon 
Chestnut Street, where a contractor kept 
a large and varied assortment of lumber, 
ladders, etc., of all kinds and sizes, and 
where, at recess, we passed the time in 
doing " stumps." 



8 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

Private schools in those days were not 
too plentiful, and the best were Phelps's, 
Sullivan's, under Park Street Church, 
Prescott Baker's, in Chapman Place, and 
Mr. Dixwell's Private Latin School, in 
Boylston Place. 

That Boston in 1854 was a far different 
place from the Greater Boston of to-day, 
goes without saying, but it is doubtful if 
the youth of the present day begins to 
realize how very different it actually was. 
There was not a single business house 
within its limits tall enough to require 
an elevator, and if there had been, an ele- 
vator was no more thought of then than 
a telephone. Horse-cars were not in ex- 
istence, steam fire-engines were things 
of the future, omnibuses and stages were 
the nearest approach to rapid transit, and 
the suburbs were indeed " out of town." 

A line of omnibuses which ran from the 
corner of Beacon and Charles streets to 
Coolidge's Corner, in Brookline, was pop- 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 9 

ular with the residents of the West End, 
and a trip in one was a great event for a 
child. I remember a weather-beaten driver 
of one of these omnibuses, who, upon being 
asked the time of starting upon the trips, 
invariably droned out, " Quarter a'ter, half 
a'ter, quarter to, and at? the last word 
causing me much perplexity until it was 
explained that it meant " on the even hour." 
The office of Town Crier was still in 
use. My sympathies were aroused upon 
one occasion, when this official drove down 
West Cedar Street, stopped at the corner 
of Chestnut Street, just opposite my house, 
and, after ringing a big dinner-bell, stood 
up in his wagon and proceeded to read 
from a paper, " Child lost ! four years old, 
wore a blue and white checked calico 
dress," etc., giving a minute description of 
the little girl. Then he started up his horse 
with a " g'long ! " and went on to the next 
corner, where the performance was re- 
peated. 



CHAPTER II 



THE games played by the boys of 
Chestnut and the adjacent streets 
are most pleasantly recalled; 
among which "I Spy," "The Red Lion," 
and "Punk" stand out prominently. This 
last was always popular, the only requisite 
being a soft ball, — not too soft, however, for 
obvious reasons, when it is known that the 
first boy holding it plugged, or "punked," 
the boy that suited him as a mark. A gen- 
eral scrimmage then ensued for the posses- 
sion of the ball, and the one securing it 
promptly " punked " another victim selected 
from the rapidly scattering boys. 

In the winter, when the snow was thaw- 
ing, dams, some of which were quite large, 
holding fully two feet of water, were built 



OLD BOSTON BOYS n 

in the gutters. Part of the fun was for an- 
other gang of boys to build a second dam 
higher up the street, larger if possible than 
the first, and then by making a breach in 
it try to wash out the one below. 

" Follow my Leader " was a game always 
liked by those boys who were willing to 
take risks ; and for these there was a fine 
field, as the budding Back Bay district 
fairly bristled with pile-drivers, derricks, 
and houses in process of construction ; in 
fact, every opportunity was here presented 
for the adventurous boy to break his own 
neck and the necks of his foolhardy fol- 
lowers. Why some of us were not killed 
or maimed for life in this game is to-day 
a mystery to me. 

We used to try to get some fun out of 
the Public Garden, but for the greater part 
of the year it seemed a desolate, dreary 
kind of place, the " garden " part of it con- 
sisting of a single " greenhouse," located 
on the Beacon Street path, near Charles 



12 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

Street. Here an effort was once made by 
the city to provide a few amusements for 
the public, and several swings were set up, 
as well as two " fandangoes," as they were 
called, — long, wooden, open-framework 
structures, which revolved perpendicularly, 
with a swinging seat at each end holding 
perhaps four or five persons. One of these 
forecasts of the " Ferris Wheel " carried the 
victims to a height of forty or fifty feet, 
the other being much smaller, and made 
presumably for those more timid. 

Thinking of our City Fathers in session 
considering the appropriation for a " fan- 
dango," the picture is forcibly suggested 
of some Hibernian member arising, as his 
brother alderman of " gondola " fame, in a 
certain Western city is said to have done, 
long years afterwards, and moving that 
" two fandangoes be ordered, a male and 
a f am ale ! " 

The pond in the Garden was then not 
more than half the size of the present one, 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 13 

innocent of any curbing, with an island in 
its centre, upon which grew a large weep- 
ing-willow tree. This pond was a popular 
rendezvous for skaters and a dangerous 
rival to the Frog Pond, but the twigs from 
the willow tree had a way of getting frozen 
into the ice, thereby causing many a "crop- 
per " to the unwary. 

Just over a low ridge of ground, which 
is now Arlington Street, was the " Back 
Bay," a sheet of water that extended from 
the Mill Dam to Boston Neck, and many 
a time have we boys struck straight across 
upon the ice from the corner of Arlington 
and Beacon streets, to where Chickering's 
piano factory now stands. Farther up the 
Bay, however, the skating was most dan- 
gerous, the tide water, rushing in and out 
through the two gates in the Mill Dam, 
which separated this water from Charles 
River, wearing away the ice in its course 
and rendering it too thin to bear a person's 
weight. 



i 4 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

I was one day going up the Bay at full 
speed, before the wind, and suddenly found 
myself upon ice which undulated under me 
like stage waves, and the water, black as 
ink, could be seen swirling along under- 
neath it. Fortunately the strip was not very 
wide, although it seemed a mile, as with 
bated breath I skimmed across it. But 
when once again on safe ice, I realized, 
with a sickly feeling, that the strip must be 
recrossed ; so without stopping an instant 
to consider the matter, I took a long flying 
start, threw the throttle wide open, shut 
my eyes, and, not daring to breathe, glided 
back over the death trap. The horrible, 
reptile-like movement of that ice, with sure 
death underneath it, comes back yet, and 
brings a creepy feeling along my spine. 

Skates in those days were clumsy affairs, 
the front end piece curling back over the 
foot in a large scroll, usually ornamented 
with a brass acorn fixed upon its tip. A 
simple straight spike fitted a hole bored in 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 15 

the boot heel, and the skate was held on to 
the boot by straps, necessarily drawn up 
almost to the breaking point, and crossing 
over the top of the foot, thus most effectu- 
ally stopping all circulation and causing 
an excruciatingly painful coldness in that 
member. Compare this with the modern 
method, by which skates are fastened on 
in a twinkling by steel clamps, either upon 
arrival at the ice, or at leisure at home, 
before starting, upon an extra pair of boots 
to be slipped on when needed! 

Jamaica Pond was, far and away, the 
favorite and fashionable skating ground. 
Here, almost any afternoon or evening 
when the ice was good, could be seen 
hundreds of skaters. Skating parties com- 
posed of Boston's elite were formed for 
visiting the pond, both by day and on 
moonlight evenings, and this custom re- 
mained popular for years. Here also was 
the boys' paradise for ice hockey; the boys 
frequently lined up fifty or more strong 



16 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

on a side, and the constant " mix-ups " that 
occurred, in which a hundred or more 
hockeys were flying about in reckless con- 
fusion, gave onlookers a decided impres- 
sion that " something was doing." Surely 
those of us now living who took part in 
them will feel our pulses beat a trifle 
quicker as we recall these hard-fought 
contests on old Jamaica Pond. 

To go back for a moment to the Public 
Garden, it should be said that it was the 
camping ground for all visiting circuses. 
The Garden was surrounded by a wooden 
fence at that time (replaced by the present 
iron one in 1862); the entrance to the big 
tent was usually at the corner of Beacon 
and Charles streets, and later at the gate- 
way about half-way along Charles Street. 
These circuses were small, one-ring affairs, 
and could be put into one of the side 
shows of the present circus ; but the people 
got just as much fun out of them, and no 
doubt many of the clown's "brand-new 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 17 

jokes " of to-day were heard there, and were 
not in the first flush of youth even then. 
A great drawing card, always, was the an- 
nouncement in the papers that the ele- 
phants would bathe in the Frog Pond, at 
a given hour ; the big beasts would wade 
in to the end of their chains, and, filling 
their trunks with water, douche themselves 
with enjoyment as huge as their bodies. 

Probably any boy of the present day and 
generation, if told that fifty years ago there 
was neither baseball nor football (as we 
know them to-day); that tennis, polo, golf, 
lacrosse, and basket ball were unknown, 
besides many other athletic sports now so 
common, would at once ask, with surprise, 
not unmingled with pity, what the boys of 
that day did, anyway, for sport and recrea- 
tion. Well, he should remember, in the 
first place, that it is easy to do without 
things of which one has never heard nor 
dreamed; and, in the second place, that he 
is to-day doing the same thing himself; for 



18 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

undoubtedly some future boy will one day 
be commenting with like surprise and pity 
upon the meagreness, as it will then seem, 
of to-day's recreations. Sufficient unto the 
day are the sports thereof. 

The American boy is nothing if not in- 
ventive, and anything that can be produced 
which will make a noise is dear to his 
heart. One of the earliest of such inven- 
tions which I recall was named the "locust," 
a harmless production, and one that no 
doubt paved the way for the later abomi- 
nation known as the " Devil's fiddle." The 
locust was made of an old-fashioned, round 
wooden match-box, over the open end of 
which a piece of kid was tightly stretched ; 
a strand or two of horse hair was then 
passed in and out of this improvised drum- 
head, and the long ends were made into a 
loop which ran around in a groove, with a 
little resin in it, made at the end of a stick. 
The box was then whirled around rapidly, 
the result being a sound which almost ex- 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 19 

actly resembled the note of the insect from 
which it received its name. 

There were many other ingenious pro- 
ductions that were common ; not all, how- 
ever, as harmless as the foregoing ; but the 
names have passed beyond recall. The 
bean-blower, however, can never be forgot- 
ten by any boy who ever possessed one; 
not only on account of the joys which 
came to him through its use, but also the 
sorrows, which were visited upon his head 
and elsewhere. The bean-blower still gets 
in its work, but not with the same beau- 
tiful precision as it did then. It had to 
be used with stealth, of course, and to be 
hidden away in secret places from the eyes 
of stern parents. 

Speaking of its precision recalls an inci- 
dent which occurred at the time the horse- 
cars were introduced into Boston. There 
was a great protest from the good old Bos- 
ton people against laying rails in the hith- 
erto unobstructed streets. It seemed like 



20 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

desecration to them, and the fight against 
the innovation was a warm one. The cars 
came, however, and the rails were laid. 
While a gang of laborers was engaged in 
the latter work in Park Square, two of the 
sons of one of Boston's best known phy- 
sicians, determining to make it as hot as 
possible for the invading force, intrenched 
themselves behind their blinds and opened 
fire with such effect that every time a la- 
borer stooped to lift a rail a stinging bean 
would pink him where his overalls were 
stretched tightest, and he would come to 
the perpendicular with a spring like that 
of a jack-knife. As smokeless powder was 
used, it was some time before the sharp- 
shooters could be located ; but they were, 
finally, and a call was made at the house, 
a complaint laid, apologies tendered, and a 
treaty of peace forthwith ratified. 

As beans did not always produce the de- 
sired effect, pellets of putty were resorted 
to eventually, sometimes driven through 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 21 

glass tubes ; but these did such deadly work 
with window panes and street lamps that 
they were speedily banished into outer 
darkness. A putty ball has been known to 
penetrate the side of a tall hat with almost 
the ease of a Mauser bullet. 

Then there was the bow-gun, a weapon 
which made the owner thereof envied by 
those of his companions who were not for- 
tunate enough to possess one. This was a 
homemade article, some of the boys pro- 
ducing beautiful specimens, which those 
less gifted eagerly purchased ; they had 
finely finished black walnut stocks, polished 
lancewood bows, strings of catgut, and deli- 
cately hung triggers. These guns would 
throw a buckshot most spitefully and with 
fair precision. When buckshot ran short, 
screws and other articles of hardware were 
used. During the reign of this weapon, 
feline mortality ran high, and the wail of 
the widow and orphan was heard upon 
rear sheds and fences. But the bow-gun 



22 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

multiplied too rapidly, and pet cats disap- 
peared with too great frequency, and so it, 
too, was rigorously stamped out of exist- 
ence. 

The game of hockey was deservedly 
popular, and, as then practiced, was no 
child's play. Sides would be formed on the 
Parade Ground of the Common, and con- 
tests would be waged almost daily. Hock- 
eys, too, were a homemade article, few 
being found for sale in the shops. The 
sticks, usually hickory, were cut in the 
suburbs, steamed or soaked in boiling water 
until the end was pliable, and then bent 
to the required curve and tied with stout 
cord until perfectly dry. Some were then 
wound with copper wire at the point of con- 
tact with the ground, and no better hockey 
has ever been made since. 

The hockey also proved a convenient 
weapon when needed, as it often was if the 
" South Enders " proved troublesome. And 
this brings us to the famous South and 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 23 

West end scrimmages. Scrimmages, do I 
say ? Aye! fights ; battles ; indeed it could 
be called a war ; nothing less, for it raged 
for years, — -winter and summer. In winter 
the war was somewhat less deadly, as snow- 
balls were the only ammunition at hand ; 
but in summer stones, half bricks, any old 
thing, were used ; and then, look out, boys ! 
For a time, when the Boylston Street end 
of the Parade Ground was being filled in, 
hundreds of loads of oyster shells were 
dumped there, which proved most formid- 
able missiles, and razors were indeed " fly- 
ing through the air." They were extremely 
difficult to dodge, owing to their swallow- 
like flight and seeming ability to turn sharp 
corners, so that many were the ugly wounds 
they inflicted, as they cut like knives. In 
these battles, bodies of skirmishers would 
be sent around by devious ways to attack 
in the rear, and charges would be made at 
intervals, when either the West Enders 
would be routed and sent flying up Spruce 



24 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

Street for reinforcements from the " Hill," 
or else the South Enders would beat a 
quick retreat through Carver Street or Park 
Square. 

At this time it was quite perilous for 
any boy known to be connected with 
either side to walk through a street in the 
enemy's district, and boys were not unfre- 
quently pretty roughly handled while thus 
innocently passing on their way. I recall 
a case which occurred upon the Common 
one morning when I was there before break- 
fast for an early run. A West End negro, 
well known to me, met a South Ender, 
each, no doubt, carrying a well-balanced 
chip upon his shoulder, and some grudge 
to be settled. Lurid conversation ensued. 
Each recommended a warm climate for 
the other's health, and picked flaws in his 
ancestry, until the representative from the 
South End volunteered the advice that 
the other should keep out of Carver Street 
or he might get " pasted." The negro re- 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 25 

plied, "You might get pasted, yourself, 
and right here and now ; " and with that 
he let fly a stone which he had been hold- 
ing in his hand and struck the other fairly 
in the forehead. The fellow dropped as 
limp as a piece of chain, the blood flowing 
in a stream. I was thoroughly frightened, 
and to avoid connection with a murder, as 
I fully thought it to be, got away as fast 
as possible. The negro ran another way, 
and I never heard the sequel. I think he 
died years ago, but I frequently see his 
brother upon the street, and always won- 
der if he ever knew what happened that 
morning. 



CHAPTER III 



THERE was a large vacant lot 
on West Cedar Street, between 
Mt. Vernon and Pinckney streets, 
the ground of which, at its farther end, 
was a good bit higher than that bordering 
upon the street. Here was a fine position 
for building a snow fort, which we often 
did, and then scouts would be sent out 
to provoke an assault by the negroes in 
Revere Street. One or two well directed 
snowballs would stir up the hornets' nest, 
and then the scouts would beat a hasty 
retreat to the " works," and the fun would 
begin. 

It must be confessed, however, that if 
the enemy got too numerous, and capitu- 
lation seemed imminent, the friendly back 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 27 

gate of one of the Louisburg Square houses 
was available, it being the residence of one 
of our boys, and through this we retreated 
to safety with as much dignity as the cir- 
stances would permit. 

We had the art of making snowballs 
down pretty fine, as the saying goes, and 
in a very few seconds one could be turned 
out as round as an orange, particularly if 
the snow was a trifle damp. If a fight was 
anticipated for the next day, a large stock 
of snowballs was made the afternoon be- 
fore and carefully left to freeze over night, 
and if one of these struck an adversary, he 
did not have to be told of the fact. Any 
one who has been hit by a cold snowball, 
upon a cold ear, upon a cold day, will at 
once recall the sensation and remember 
that instead of his feeling the cold, the 
thought instantly occurred that something 
red-hot had happened to him. 

To test our skill in throwing, we used 
to draw a ring around us with a hockey 



28 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

or any other implement handy, and then, 
standing stationary, throw the ball as high 
as we could, straight into the air, and see if 
it would fall back within the circle. Some 
of us could do jt nearly every time. There 
was a boy named John Faulkner, who 
lived on West Cedar Street, who could 
throw a snowball as swiftly and as accu- 
rately as any boy I ever saw, and I hope 
that if he is living this tribute to his 
boyish skill will come to his notice and 
awaken pleasant remembrances. He was 
a valuable hand in a fight, and the enemy 
sought cover when he opened fire. 

The Italians who used to vend plaster 
casts of Apollo, Venus, etc., carried upon 
a long wooden tray, resting upon the head, 
and who used to cry "" Eemo-gees ! " were 
sometimes marks for snowballic skill ; but 
they were unfair targets, as no chance for 
retaliation was afforded the victim : he had 
to lower his tray with great deliberation 
and care in order to see what damage had 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 29 

been done, and when this had been accom- 
plished the boy was probably out of sight 
two blocks away. 

When defending a fort, the best shots 
were given the places of honor, and snow- 
balls were made and passed to them by the 
lesser lights. These picked men generally 
held in their left hands a bit of flat stick 
which was used as a shield, upon which 
the enemy's snowballs were received, 
thus enabling them to stand upright to 
their work with far more effect than if 
they had been kept dodging and ducking 
behind the ramparts. These sticks also 
discouraged opponents from rushing the 
fort, as they were then turned into weapons 
of defense and used with great effect upon 
any part of the enemy attempting to scale 
the breastworks. 

Of course the winter sport par excellence 
was coasting, and those Boston boys whose 
boyhood was at the zenith in the fifties 
include coasting, as it was then practiced, 



30 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

among the lost arts. If any of the young- 
sters of to-day are inclined to laugh at 
this statement, let any one of them, athlete 
though he may be, take a running start 
of from three to ten yards at full speed 
with the sled following at the end of its 
cord, and when sufficient impetus has 
been acquired, throw it ahead, letting the 
line fall along the seat, at the same time 
launching his body, curved bow-wise, for- 
ward through the air, alighting breast first, 
with no apparent effort, jar, or retardment 
of speed as softly as a falling snowflake, 
upon the flying sled as it shoots under- 
neath. This would be called a pretty, acro- 
batic feat to-day, but was too common then 
to attract special notice. That 's the dif- 
ference. 

All coasting in those days was racing, 
pure and simple. Prominent sleds were as 
well known among the boys as race horses 
and yachts are to-day, and on any Satur- 
day afternoon hundreds of spectators might 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 31 

be seen hedging in the " Long Coast," 
which ran from the corner of Park and 
Beacon streets to the West Street entrance 
and as much farther along Tremont Street 
Mall as one's impetus would carry him. 
A squad of coasters would be bunched 
together at the top of this coast, holding 
their sleds like dogs in leash, waiting for 
some " crack " to lead off. As he straight- 
ened himself and started on his run with 
the cry of " Lullah ! " to clear the way, it 
was the signal for all to follow, and one 
after another would string out from the 
bunch after him, in rapid succession, each 
keen to pass as many of those ahead as 
possible, the lesser lights being careful not 
to start until the " heavyweights " had 
sped on their way. 

The walk back uphill was made inter- 
esting by discussing the merits, faults, 
lines, etc., of the noted sleds, and if, as 
often happened, invidious comparisons 
were made between a "South End" and 



32 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

a " West End " sled, a lively and not alto- 
gether unwelcome scrap, then and there, 
was usually the logical outcome. 

Sleds (the first-class ones) were made 
with much care and skill, and cost propor- 
tionately. Natural black walnut was a fa- 
vorite material, finished either with a fine 
dead polish or a bright surface, varnished 
with as much care as a coach ; the name, 
if it bore one, was usually a fine specimen 
of lettering in gold or bright colors. The 
model was carefully planned, and the lines 
were graceful and a delight to the eye of a 
connoisseur. Black enameled leather, bor- 
dered by gold or silver headed tacks, made 
a popular seat, and the "irons," as they 
were called, were made of the best "silver 
steel," whatever that meant. They were 
kept burnished like glass, with constant 
care and fine emery and oil, and a streak 
of ashes or a bare spot was avoided as a 
yacht steers clear of rocks. 

The amount of " spring " given to the 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 33 

irons was also a matter of moment, and a 
nice gradation of the same was thought to 
have influence on the speed; it certainly 
added greatly to one's bodily comfort. 

" Let 's see your irons " was a common 
request, and the owner thus honored would 
jerk his sled up on its hind legs, so to 
speak, wipe off the steel with mitten or 
handkerchief, and show off the bright sur- 
face with much pride. 

The most popular coasts were the " Long 
Coast " already mentioned, the Joy Street 
coast, Beacon Street Mall, and the " Big " 
or " Flagstaff " Hill, the flagstaff standing 
on the spot now graced by the Soldiers' 
Monument. The hill was much higher 
than it is now, the ground around it hav- 
ing been raised in recent years. Many of 
the boys will recall the evenings spent on 
Mount Vernon and Chestnut streets and 
Branch Avenue, — the latter then known 
as " Kitchen " Street. 

Fancy a laughing, shouting crowd, in 



34 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

these days of police surveillance, coasting 
down public streets until eleven o'clock 
at night! But the Civil War came and 
changed many things, coasting among the 
rest. Most of the laughing, careless crowd 
enlisted at the first note of the country's 
call, and their boyhood came to a sudden 
end as the sound of drum and fife stirred 
all hearts to sterner things. Some came 
back, buf many, alas, stayed behind with 
the great silent army, and it is for us who 
are left to keep their memories green until 
we too are enlisted in the same ranks. 

It will, I am sure, be of interest to many 
who remember those days, to see once 
more the old familiar names of a few of the 
crack sleds of Boston at that period, and 
to have recalled to their minds who the 
owners of them were. 

Wivern Bob Clark 

Raven Arthur Clark 

Brenda Dan Sargent 

Charlotte Alfred Greenough 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 



35 



Comet . . . 
Southern Cross 
Eagle . . 
Arrow . . 
Wild Pigeon 
Tom Heyer 
Titania 
Multum in Parvo 
Cave Adsum 
Dancing Feather 
Flying Childers 
Juniata 
Trustee 
Santiago . 
Whiz! . . 
Flirt . . 
Scud . . 
Flying Cloud 
Cygnet . . 
Alma . . 
Tuscaloosa 
Viking . . 
Moby Dick 



Frank Wells 
Frank Lawrence 
Jim Lovett 
John Muliken 
Ned Kendall 
Jack Carroll 
Nate Appleton 
Frank Peabody 
Ned Amory 
Charlie Greenough 
Frank Wildes 
Horace Bumstead 
Charlie Chamberlin 
Dick Robins 
Will Freeman 
Horace Freeman 
Eben Dale 
Billy Fay 
Jim Chadwick 
Fred Crowninshield 
Horatio Curtis 
Edgar Curtis 
Henry Alline 



Of course there were many sleds equally 
fine which bore no name; prominent 
among this latter class should be men- 



36 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

tioned the one owned by Tom Edmands 
and also one which was made and owned 
by Charlie Lovett, both of them beautiful 
in grace, workmanship, and finish. There 
was one sled, named the " Edith," which 
always appealed to me as being more nearly 
perfect than any that I can remember. I 
cannot recall the owner's name, but I 
fear that whenever I saw this sled the 
tenth commandment was handled pretty 
roughly. 

Steering a first-class sled in those days 
was not accomplished by sticking out one's 
leg and digging gullies in the snow with 
the toe of the boot. Heaven forbid ! Those 
who owned crack sleds knew how to handle 
and get all the speed possible out of them, 
and would no more have retarded the speed 
by employing the above method than a 
yachtsman would think of steering his boat 
by towing a spar overboard. The correct 
form for a coaster who knew the game was 
to lie on the sled with head well down, feet 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 37 

firmly crossed and knees flexed as far over 
the back as possible, both hands resting 
easily upon the same runner near its point ; 
the steering was done by "pulling her head 
'round " in the desired direction, by little 
short jerks of the runner upon which the 
hands rested. 

Dan Sargent conceived the idea of steer- 
ing by holding out in front of his sled 
a second one of diminutive proportions. 
This, however, could only be done on a 
steep coast, where no running start was 
necessary. I saw him try it several times, 
but it was never adopted. The first step to 
the " double runner " was two sleds hitched 
together tandem, and then the long con- 
necting board quickly followed. 

Street coasting was dangerous and re- 
sulted in accidents of all kinds, especially 
where the coast was intersected by another 
street. A big, heavy negro was one day 
coasting down Mt. Vernon Street on glare 
ice, and just before he reached Charles 



38 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

Street a sledge drawn by one horse moving 
at a walk came into sight. The coaster had 
no time to think or swerve from his course, 
and with lightning speed shot under the 
horse's belly without touching a hoof. It 
was a close shave. 

Usually a boy stood at such a place to 
signal to those about to start, when the 
coast was clear. I remember a boy going 
down the " Long Coast" with one leg 
stuck out for a rudder, as I have mentioned 
above, when another sled, overtaking him, 
struck the projection, whirling him around 
so that he faced up hill, and the next sled 
struck him full in the face, making sad 
work. 

A funny incident occurred one morn- 
ing upon the Joy Street coast. A colored 
washerwoman, weighing some two hun- 
dred pounds, was ponderously and labori- 
ously picking her way down the icy path, 
carrying upon her head a large bundle of 
laundered clothes. She was so absorbed in 




FIRST LIEUT. DANIEL SARGENT 
24th Mass. Vol. Infantry 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 39 

her efforts to maintain her footing that she 
failed to hear, or else did not understand, 
the cry of " Lullah ! " behind her. At all 
events, she kept stolidly upon her way, and 
the coaster, rattling down behind, kept 
upon his, perforce, being held to the coast 
by the ruts and going too fast to turn out. 
Of course the inevitable happened, and 
the colored lady, first lifted with startling 
abruptness, was then, fortunately for her, 
seated astride the back of the frightened 
boy, who continued on down the coast 
faster than ever, owing to the added weight. 
When she collected her senses, and found 
herself neither killed nor wounded, she fell 
to berating the poor lad with a wonderful 
flow of language, at the same time pound- 
ing and whacking him about his ears and 
shoulders during the remainder of the trip. 
The gentleman who told me of this con- 
tretemps added with a laugh that he would 
not have minded it quite so much if she 
had only landed " side saddle." 



4 o OLD BOSTON BOYS 

But enough of old-time coasting. We 
old boys who knew it then, and loved the 
sport, will still think that it should be 
classed among the lost arts. 



CHAPTER IV 



IN the spring, as soon as the frost was 
out of the ground, many games stood 
waiting for us. Probably to the boys 
of to-day " marbles " sounds rather weak, 
and " Go and play marbles" is a phrase 
which one often hears hurled at the head 
of some unsuccessful competitor in field 
sports. It is true that it cannot be classed 
among athletics, but it was a much more 
serious business then than it is to-day, 
and was played with a good deal of skill. 
To shoot an " alley " with force and pre- 
cision, " knuckling down/' that is, with the 
knuckles resting upon the ground, is not 
so easy and requires much practice. 

A boy's stock of marbles was usually car- 
ried in a bag with a running string, and 



42 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

consisted of " Alleys," " Jaspers," " Chi- 
nees," " Pewees," "Agates," " Bulls' Eyes," 
and several other kinds. A special marble 
was kept for long shots, which might per- 
haps have been six feet, and it was remark- 
able how many times a small marble would 
be struck at this distance, with only the 
snap of the thumb. 

I wonder if Mr. Rogers, a most courteous 
and dignified gentleman, whom I often 
see, remembers his skill at this sport ! He 
was as expert as any boy of whom I can 
think. He, among many others, used to 
run a " bank," as we called it, — which con- 
sisted of a strip of wood, perhaps twelve 
or fifteen inches long, with six or eight lit- 
tle arches cut in it, each somewhat wider 
than a marble, and numbered from one 
up. This row of arches was held upright 
upon the ground, and the marksman, a 
few feet away, would shoot his marble 
with the object of entering one of the 
arches ; if he succeeded, he was given the 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 43 

number of marbles which corresponded 
with the number over the arch, while, if he 
failed, the marble was appropriated by the 
banker. 

Then there was " ring taw " and " three 
holes," and lots of other names which have 
been forgotten. These games were good 
fun, and kept boys out of doors as well as 
out of mischief. 

Kite-flying had and always will have a 
fascination for boys. Few "grown-ups," 
however, give it any attention at the pre- 
sent day, except in the interest of science. 
Formerly many gentlemen used to make 
kites for their children, and meet upon the 
Common to fly them. The late Dr. Na- 
thaniel B. Shurtleff, once mayor of Bos- 
ton, the writer's father, and several others 
made fine kites. Dr. Shurtleff was very 
skillful in making Chinese kites ; I remem- 
ber several which resembled owls, with 
large, blinking eyes, and which were most 
effective in the air. My father once made 



44 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

a bow-kite seven feet high, a piece of rat- 
tan forming the bow. It had a " pull " which 
would have delighted the heart of a politi- 
cian ; one afternoon I was allowed to hold 
the cross-bar to which the string was at- 
tached, but I did not hold it long, as, al- 
though I dug both heels into the ground, 
it drew me along with the utmost ease. 
Stout gloves were required in letting out 
and pulling in the string of this kite. 

Many gentlemen used to fish for perch, 
flounders, and eels off " Perch Rocks," as 
they were called. These rocks were the 
commencement of the wall bordering upon 
Charles River, back of the Beacon Street 
houses, and extended at that time perhaps 
an eighth of a mile out from River Street, 
several hundred yards beyond where the 
filling had been done. Here the gentle- 
men would meet and spend a pleasant 
afternoon, and right glad was I when taken 
along and allowed to hold a line. Once I 
grew tired, waiting for the bite which did 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 45 

not come; so, fastening my line, I wan- 
dered off to the stone-cutters' sheds near 
by, to watch the men at their work. Upon 
coming back and taking hold of my line, 
I was surprised and delighted to feel that 
there was a monster upon the hook. I 
commenced to haul in the line with shouts 
of triumph, and as the prize rose to the 
surface I gazed into the leg of an old rub- 
ber boot that one of the party had attached. 
As he afterwards salved my wounded dig- 
nity with a bright dime, which looked big 
to a boy in those days, the wound quickly 
healed. 

Tops, of course, had their innings, and 
some of the older boys used to get theirs 
turned to order, from hard, fancy woods, 
such as lignum vitae, rose, box, tulip, leo- 
pard, and many other woods. These had 
long and sharp steel spikes fixed in them, 
with which we would try to split each 
other's tops while spinning. Since then I 
have never seen boys, playing at this sport, 



46 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

throw the tops with their utmost strength, 
as we used to do. 

Stilting, too, was a fad for a time, and 
some got to be quite expert at the game, 
hopping upon one stilt and shouldering 
the other. We would in this fashion have 
jousts, necessarily short-lived, handling the 
unused stilt as a lance. Games of tag, too, 
were played upon stilts, and in fact we got 
to feel pretty much at home upon them. 

" Tip-cat " was also a popular game. 
One occasionally sees it played to-day, but 
not to the extent that it was then. Not 
content with small soft wood cats, two or 
three inches in length, we made them of a 
section of broom handle and about six or 
eight inches long, using the remainder of 
the handle for the cat-stick. With the 
three strokes which were allowed in this 
game, I have seen a cat of the latter kind 
sent from the Spruce Street path on the 
Common over the Public Garden fence. 
Charlie Troupe, who was a fine player at 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 47 

the old "Massachusetts "game of baseball, 
made these three strokes; they held the 
record, and I very much doubt if any cat 
has ever jumped as far since. 



CHAPTER V 



THERE was a startling announce- 
ment in the papers one morning to 
the effect that an ancient cave had 
been discovered upon the Common. Many- 
people went to see it, I among the number; 
and there, sure enough, near the Boylston 
Street end of the Parade Ground, a sort of 
canvas covering had been erected over a 
good-sized excavation into which people 
were entering by means of a rudely made 
stairway. I forget whether or not a small 
admission fee was charged (probably there 
was, or I should have gone in) ; but any- 
way, those who came out looked a little 
sheepish, at the same time urging others 
to go in and get their money's worth of 
the mysterious. Of course it soon dawned 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 49 

upon everybody that it was April 1 ; this, 
however, did not deter them from going 
in just the same, to see what the joke 
was like, and all seemed to enjoy it; prob- 
ably the originators reaped quite a little 
harvest. 

There was one spot in Boston which will 
never fade from the memories of those who 
knew it. This was " Braman's Baths " at 
the foot of Chestnut Street. In the fifties 
there was a competitor in " Morey's Baths," 
but these latter were discontinued, if I re- 
member aright, some time before the Civil 
War. Braman's was a notable institution, 
and possessed attractions for a boy that 
can hardly be overestimated. It was, in the 
first place the only bath-house in tide water 
in Boston. It consisted of a series of low 
wooden buildings built on piles, and was 
redolent of a strong odor of salt water, 
with which it seemed to be saturated, like 
no other place I have ever known, except 
perhaps the moss-covered piles under a 



50 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

bridge ; and even more than these, it seemed 
to have a distinct quality of salty smell all 
its own. 

Long, curious passageways and gang- 
planks led finally to the swimming basin, 
which was anchored in the river. There 
was a fee charged of course, for baths, and 
some of us were the possessors of season 
tickets, entitling the holders thereof to one 
bath per diem; but if we wanted two, it 
was a cold day for us when we could n't 
get them in one way or another known only 
to boys. Rainy days offered no obstacles, 
and even a hail storm which I well recall, 
in which we felt as though being tattooed 
upon every exposed part of our bodies at 
once, could not keep us from the water. 
There was an outside row of dressing- 
rooms upon a platform, from which one 
could enter the river itself ; but only expert 
swimmers were allowed there. In the fall, 
these bathing houses were towed up the 
river and grounded for the winter upon the 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 51 

flats. Apart from the bathing, " Braman's " 
was certainly a most fascinating place. In 
vacation time we would congregate early, 
and literally spend the day there, with only 
an interim for a hurried dinner. 

There were two or three big rafts, where 
boats were to let, the rowboats tied to them 
and the sailboats anchored off a short dis- 
tance. Many boats of all kinds were owned 
by private persons and were kept either 
in their own boat-houses, or in club-houses 
along with a number of others. 

Although these recreations — swimming, 
rowing, and sailing — are so common to- 
day, it must be borne in mind that, at this 
period of which I am writing, this was the 
only rendezvous of the kind in Boston. 
It was here that, on regatta days, all the 
rowing celebrities congregated, and here 
such men as Josh Ward, the Biglin Bro- 
thers; Hammill, Walter Brown, and many 
others were revealed to us. Merely to catch 
a glimpse of them I have squirmed between 



52 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

the legs of a crowd and all but crawled 
over their heads ; but these were state oc- 
casions and occurred, alas, like angels' 
visits. 

Yes, " Braman's " was a unique collection 
of queer buildings, and as different from 
the cut-and-dried public baths of to-day as 
fragrant country lanes are from the city 
streets. Such a place would be impossible 
nowadays. There was within its depths a 
well-remembered lunch counter, past which 
it was difficult for a hungry boy (and when 
were we not hungry?) to pass without a 
business transaction. Boys, do you re- 
member those black mince "slugs," the 
turnovers, the hard-tack which we used to 
soak in the swimming basin and eat while 
bathing, the spruce beer, and the apple 
" dough bats " ? The exterior of these last 
was of a beautiful doughnut brown, and 
they contained in some part of their depths 
a trace more or less of apple sauce, like the 
ring in a cake ; one never knew when the 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 53 

prize would be reached, but if it was there 
we never failed to reach it, and the won- 
der of it is that all these things tasted so 
good. 

From the raft of the Beacon or Union 
Club a small party of us used, in the early 
sixties, to row almost daily either up to the 
Harvard Boat-house or else down, under the 
bridges, to the harbor. Usually the party 
was composed of two, three, or four, as the 
case might be, of the following named: 
Bill and Tom Blaikie, John Tyler, Ned 
Clark, John Hall, Billy Sanguilly, Frank 
Jackson, and myself. Sometimes Bob, Fred, 
or Sam Frothingham was of the party. 
Who of us who knew the last named will 
ever forget him or cease to regret his sad 
death? Handsome of face, with broad 
shoulders, deep chest, small waist, narrow 
hips, and a big, kind heart, he was a rare 
combination of manly beauty, strength, and 
grace. I cannot pass him by without this 
slight tribute to a dear old friend. 



54 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

Upon our way home from these pulls 
we would usually stop for a swim, either 
at " Horseshoe Point " or at " Sugar Loaf." 
Bill Blaikie at that time used always to 
row bareheaded, declaring that the Al- 
mighty knew the correct headgear for a 
man and gave it to him accordingly. The 
rest of us, however, lacked sufficient faith 
in this theory to brave the risk of sun- 
stroke. Blaikie, by the way, could at that 
time, with his hands alone, lift a dead 
weight of sixteen hundred pounds. This, 
for a man not over twenty years of age, 
was surely a gigantic feat. He did it re- 
peatedly at the old Tremont Gymnasium. 
Later on he was a power in the Harvard 
' Varsity boat, and the crew of which he 
rowed stroke was never beaten. The other 
members of this celebrated crew were Bob 
Peabody, Ned Fenno, A. P. Loring, Ned 
^Wilkinson, and Charlie McBurney. In 
action, with bronzed bodies, capped with 
crimson, plying that piston-rod stroke, this 
six was a sight to remember ! 



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CHAPTER VI 



IN the late fifties Boston could boast 
of having some of the best oarsmen 
in the country, amateurs though they 
might be. As a single sculler, " Bob " 
Clark (lately chairman of the Boston 
Police Board) was unapproachable. Upon 
June 22, 1859, in his shell L'Esperance, 
he made the time of 13.52 over a two-mile 
course, one mile out and return, against 
Tom Doyle and Eben Harrington; the 
former finishing in 14.42% and the latter 
in 15.50. This time of Clark's held the 
record for sixteen years! He literally 
played with all comers. In one of his 
races he came in so far ahead of his op- 
ponents that the spectators would not 
believe that he had turned the stake- 



56 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

boat, until all doubts were set at rest 
by the other participants in the race and 
by the judge who was stationed at that 
point. 

The old Volant crew was also well-nigh 
invincible, and was made up of such metal 
as Robert H. Stevenson and his brother 
Thomas (afterwards that magnificent sol- 
dier, Brigadier-General Thomas G. Steven- 
son), Robert F. and Arthur Clark, John 
Putnam, and Robert M. Pratt. In chroni- 
cling the prowess of this splendid crew, of 
which Boston was so proud, I cannot do 
better than to give verbatim the following 
report of their race with the Huron, as 
it appeared in " Ballou's Pictorial " for 
June 20, 1857, along with a sketch of the 
finish, referred to therein. 

"BOAT RACE ON CHARLES RIVER." 

" The exciting scene depicted on this 
page, by our artist, Mr. Hill, who made 
the drawing expressly for us, is the con- 






ROBERT F. CLARK 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 57 

elusion of the race between the club boats, 
Huron and Volant, which took place on 
the 1 6th ult, in presence of a large con- 
course of spectators. The locality is faith- 
fully represented. The houses in the back- 
ground of the picture are the fine ones 
recently built on Western Avenue; in 
front and to the left, are Braman's baths 
and boat-houses. From the baths, a line 
was drawn to the judges' boat, to form a 
starting point for the race ; the Volant is 
represented as having crossed it, and the 
Huron coming up. In the foreground is 
the judges' boat; beyond the Volant is one 
of the boats of the Union Club ; and the 
gentleman pulling the extremely narrow 
one is Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, the 
poet, who is very partial to this manly 
exercise, for which no city in the world 
has such facilities as Boston, the fine ex- 
panse of Charles River being unimpeded 
by navigation and the dangers incident 
to the passage of steamers. Our sketch, 



58 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

through the kindness of Mr. Braman, was 
made from the judges' boat. 

" Of the two boats engaged in this spir- 
ited race, the Huron is owned by a club 
of Harvard College students, and the Vo- 
lant is well known as the champion of the 
Charles River Association. The race was 
not for money, but a set of colors was to 
be given by the loser to the winner in 
the generous contest. The race was to be 
pulled over the usual three-mile course on 
Charles River, the boats to be governed 
by ordinary rules, to start from the judges' 
line at half-past four, to round the stake 
at the upper end, pulling starboard oars. 
Both crews had been thoroughly and 
severely trained and came to the line in 
most excellent condition. The following 
are the names and positions of the crews, 
as reported in the * Traveller : * Volant — 
Stroke, R. H. Stevenson, No. 2, A. H. 
Clark, No. 3, J. C. Putnam, No. 4, R. Pratt, 
No. 5, R. F. Clark, No. 6, T. G. Steven- 




VOLANT AND HURON B^AT RACE, JUNE 16, 1857 
O. W. Holmes, at left, i n wherry 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 59 

son ; Huron — Stroke, S. B. Parkman, No. 
2, C. F. Walcott, No. 3, W. H. Elliot, No. 
4, W. G. Goldsmith, No. 5, A. E. B. Agas- 
siz, No. 6, J. J. Storrow. Mr. Grenville T. 
W. Braman acted as judge for the Volant, 
and Mr. Alfred Whitman, Jr., for the 
Huron. 

"At quarter-past four the gun was fired, 
the boats disappeared under their houses 
for a moment, and in another minute came 
out — the crews stripped and ready for the 
race. The Volants wore scarlet caps, white, 
close-fitting body shirts, and dark trousers ; 
the Hurons, white flat caps, with red band, 
white shirts, and white trousers. Both 
crews looked admirably. The judges were 
between the boats, able to see that they 
were even and to direct their movements 
with much greater facility than is possible 
from a boat moored at the end of the line. 
The word was given by Mr. Whitman, and 
the boats started at 4 h. 37 min. 30 sec. 
The Volant led. She had gained a length 



60 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

at the end of the first eighth of a mile, and 
throughout the race pulled steadily ahead 
of her rival, at no time losing any part of 
her advantage. Off the lower breakwater, 
on the up-stretch, there were two lengths 
of clear water between the boats. The dis- 
tance of the Volants increased to three or 
four at the upper breakwater — they were 
at least five ahead after rounding the stake, 
and on the home-stretch gained in about 
the same proportion, coming in with a 
lead of ten or eleven lengths. Both boats 
having started at 4 b. 37 min. 30 sec. re- 
turned as follows : Volant, 4 h. 58 min. 
30 sec. — time, 21 min.; Huron, 4 h. 59 
min. 8 sec. — time, 2 1 min. 38 sec. ; differ- 
ence in favor of the Volant, 38 sec. The 
time is good ; better, the ' Traveller ' says, 
than any amateur six-oar has made in pub- 
lic on this course. Neither boat, however, 
came down to its practice time. The Hu- 
ron has been round in 20 min. 50 sec. ; and 
it is said the Volant has accomplished it 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 61 

in 19 min. 52 sec, which, if correct, is very 
much better than anything recorded. This 
sport was witnessed with much interest by 
the spectators." 1 

Besides the Volant, there were the Fort 
Hill Boy, Maid of Erin, Robert Emmet, 
Shamrock, Sterling, Bunker Hill, and 
others — most of them manned by hardy 
longshoremen, all fine athletes, some of 
whom were nearly always to be found in 
the 17th of June and 4th of July regattas, 
and they always gave a good account of 
themselves. I give a few brief sketches of 
some of these old races, which were taken 
from the files of the Boston " Herald " and 
" Transcript." 

Upon July 4, 1856, in the single-scull 
race, Daw, in the Brooklyn Boy, beat Tom 
Daly in the Stephen Roberts, by a small 
margin, and on the same day the Rob- 
ert Emmet was beaten by the Harvard 
manned by Parkman, Crowninshield, El- 

1 See Appendix, p. 220. 



62 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

liott, Erving, Walcott, Ropes, and Gold- 
smith. In 1857, July 4, the Harvard 
beat Fort Hill Boy, Robert Emmet, Sham- 
rock, Bunker Hill, and Sterling in 19.22. 
In the single sculls, Bob Clark, in the 
Blackbird, took things easily and beat Tom 
Doyle and two or three others by several 
lengths, in 14.54. Doyle rowed the D. E. 
Poland. The prizes were awarded by Mr. 
Charles F. Shimmin — he and the two 
Stevenson brothers being the judges. 

June 19, 1858, on the Charles River, in 
the second annual Beacon Regatta, the 
Harvards once more beat the Fort Hill 
Boy, their rival of the previous year, in a 
three-mile race, in 19.22, — the latter com- 
ing in second, two minutes behind them. 

The Fort Hill Boy's crew of 'longshore- 
men, being now thoroughly disgruntled by 
these repeated defeats by those whom they 
termed " Beacon Street swells," determined 
to arrange a race with them that should 
effectually show the difference between 







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OLD BOSTON BOYS 63 

brawn and brains, and put these " lady's 
pets " in their proper place in boat-racing. 
Accordingly they challenged the Harvards 
to row a six-mile race (twice over the usual 
three-mile course). The Harvards, nothing 
daunted, accepted the challenge with the 
responsiveness of a gamecock, and upon 
July 5 again showed their heels to the 
Irish crew in 40.25, beating them by nearly 
a minute and a half. 1 

The time made by these oarsmen has 
since been beaten, mainly owing to im- 
provements in boat construction and to the 
valuable addition of the sliding seat, which 
was then unknown. Race horses have been 
improved since the 2.40 days, by careful 
breeding, and in this era of the pneumatic 
sulky the old records are laughed at ; but 
no improvement has been made, or can be 
made, on the splendid athletes and water- 
men of the old days of which I write. 

1 See Appendix, p. 222. 



CHAPTER VII 



DURING this period I was, of 
course, a mere lad; but in the 
early sixties, through the experi- 
ence which I have related I grew to know 
Charles River thoroughly, in its every 
nook and corner, from Braman's to the 
Harvard boat-house, and loved it well. I 
often used to start off alone on pulls, and 
the mere drifting along with lazy strokes, 
feeling as free as a bird in air, was an un- 
mixed delight, never to be forgotten. 

In rowing around to Boston Harbor 
there was a railroad bridge, which at high 
tide nearly touched the water, and was at 
such times a ticklish place to pass in a 
boat. John Tyler, one of the best oarsmen 
of his day (in the sixties), was once work- 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 65 

ing his way under the bridge at full flood 
tide and got jammed in some way just as 
a train came roaring along, barely three 
feet above his head. He could only lie 
down and await the issue, — and he used 
to tell of the trying experience through 
which he passed as the train thundered 
above him, while hot ashes came sifting 
down upon him and his boat. He never 
tried it again except when there was 
plenty of space to row quickly beneath 
this bridge. 

A pleasant remembrance of this time is 
a fast little green dory, owned by Ned 
Holmes, youngest son of Dr. Oliver Wen- 
dell Holmes ; for in it he and I made many 
delightful trips to all points of the Charles 
as well as Boston Harbor. Young Holmes 
was a delightful companion, and I am 
sure that Dr. Fred Sturgis will recall the 
" green dory," as we called it, with as much 
pleasure as I do, for he rowed in it as often 
as I. 



66 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

In the winter Charles River afforded 
plenty of sport in duck shooting, and spear- 
ing for eels through the ice, for those who 
were hardy enough to brave the cold. My 
brother is the only one whom I can recall 
who used to " lay out " for ducks, night 
after night, upon the ice. He had built 
himself a skiff with iron rods laid along the 
bottom, to act as runners ; and with the 
aid of these he would proceed from one 
" pond hole " to another. The skiff was 
disguised with hay and pieces of eel grass 
and ice, so that it resembled a mass of 
floating debris, of which the ducks had no 
mistrust. He would quietly slide his skiff 
into a pond hole, and, if a flock of ducks 
was there, feeding at low tide, lie upon his 
back, sculling noiselessly over his shoulder 
until within range, and he seldom failed to 
bring home a good bag in the morning. 

He used to tell of an amusing incident 
which occurred one morning before it was 
fairly light, while he was upon his way 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 67 

home. He was close in to the Mill Dam 
and saw three or four laborers walking to 
their work. Thinking to see how they 
would take it, he lay back in the boat 
until they were opposite, and then, when 
they were looking his way, suddenly sat 
up in what must have appeared to them a 
floating coffin, and, stretching out his arms, 
gave a loud and sepulchral yawn. The 
men were confounded and then panic- 
stricken, and with the cry of " Begod, it *s 
a monk ! " incontinently fled. As my 
brother had on a nearly white overcoat, 
trimmed with white fur, the effect in the 
dim light may have warranted their belief 
that something supernatural was happen- 
ing. 

When the old hand engines went out of 
business, a lot of fun went with them. I 
" ran " with Cataract No. 4, it being in- 
cumbent upon every boy to run with and 
"blow" for the engine in his district; and 
a boy without a " tub," as they .were called 



68 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

in the vernacular, was like a man without 
a country. There was Mazeppa No, i, Per- 
kins No. 2, Eagle No. 3, Cataract No. 4, 
Extinguisher No. 5, Melville No. 6, Tiger 
No. 7, Boston No. 8, Maverick No. 9, Dun- 
bar No. 10, Barnicoat No. n, Tremont 
No. 12, and two or three more. 

Number Four's house stood on piles over 
Charles River directly opposite the foot of 
Mt. Vernon Street. It was built of wood, 
but has since been replaced by a brick 
structure, turned around into line with the 
rest of the buildings on Mt. Vernon Street 
and occupied by Steamer No. 10. 

There was great rivalry between certain 
engine companies, and this party feeling 
was, of course, communicated to the boys 
residing in the rival districts. " What tub 
do yer blow for ? " when sprung upon one 
by a strange boy, who looked as though he 
were " spoiling for a fight," was a hail to be 
answered with great circumspection and 
diplomacy.- Prevarication was deemed jus- 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 69 

tifiable if the one asked this straight-from- 
the-shoulder question was a smaller boy. 
If the latter knew what tub the questioner 
himself favored, it was plain sailing, and a 
little of the aforesaid prevarication covered 
a multitude of troubles ; but if this impor- 
tant fact were unknown, aye, there was 
the rub ! Then was the time to exercise 
finesse, remembering that a soft answer 
turneth away wrath: to temporize, or 
squarely aver that you did n't " blow " for 
any tub, and so avoid issue. But, on the 
other hand, if one felt a little " scrappy " 
himself and thought he had a good fight- 
ing chance, then the flag was boldly flaunted 
and he waded in. 

The engine companies themselves in 
going to a fire were bound to get there, if 
possible, before a rival, so as to get the first 
stream started ; if they met, — well, one of 
them had to give way, and oftentimes this 
involved some pretty free fighting. The 
motto in these cases seemed to be, " Let 



70 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

the old thing burn, if it will, but you don't 
get there before we do." 

Sometimes, by way of diversion, an en- 
gine would try to " wash " a rival, — that 
is, endeavor to pump water into her faster 
than her boys could pump it out, and if 
this were effected, and she were overflowed, 
great was the rejoicing thereat. But if, on 
the other hand, the receiving engine's boys 
could pump off the water faster than it 
came in, so that the hose could be heard 
to suck air, then the victory lay with them 
and was duly heralded abroad. 

It certainly was exciting to see two or 
more rival engine companies pitted against 
one another upon the Common, to decide 
which could throw a stream the farthest. 
Judges were selected and the crews would 
" man the brakes " and at a given signal 
fall to, the water being drawn from the 
Frog Pond. A captain would stand on the 
top of his machine and exhort his men to 
" break their lazy backs." " Don't go to 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 71 

sleep, men," he would roar, and, working 
himself into a frenzy, with his arms gestic- 
ulating wildly, and waving aloft his speak- 
ing trumpet, he would swear that they were 
a set of " stiffs." " For God's sake, my 
bully boys, work as if you were alive." 
" That 's the stuff, now, my beauties ; don't 
let her strike " (meaning the shoulder of 
the piston upon the chamber in which it 
played). " Shake it out of her, now ; one, 
two; one, two; now you've got it! Oh, 
just one foot further, if you love me ! " 
And so he would keep it going until the 
time was up and a verdict was rendered. 
Yes, lots of fun went out when the steam- 
ers came in. 

The engine was drawn by a long rope 
manned by the firemen, and any boy who 
could get a hand on that rope felt that he 
had won his spurs. After a fire the men, 
upon returning to the engine house, usu- 
ally had a long table set out with a lunch 
of crackers and cheese, — or at least it was 



72 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

so at Cataract's house, and as I knew Alex. 
Towne, one of the best men of the com- 
pany, I often got in and partook of the 
feast. 

Towne was the strongest man on the 
team, and could, standing with his back 
to the engine, lift her hind wheels clear 
of the ground. I do not know how many- 
pounds this represented, but he was the 
only one who could do it. 

The loyalty of the fire laddies to their 
engine is well illustrated by the legend 
which was told of one of them who was 
dying, and whose last request was, " When 
I die, cut off me ears and bury 'em under 
de engine house, so that I can hear de old 
mashine rattle as she rolls out." 

Charlie Chamberlin, then living on 
Charles Street, had a miniature engine, the 
exact counterpart of a full grown " tub," 
with which we had lots of fun. Among its 
crew were George Mifflin, Fred Crownin- 
shield, George Johnson, myself, and others. 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 73 

It was made of copper and stood about 
three and one half feet from the ground to 
the brakes, which were five feet long. It 
held about a barrel of water and would 
throw a good fifty-foot stream. It had ac- 
tually seen service at fires before its advent 
into our neighborhood. It bore the name 
of "Hydrant No. 4." Charlie tells a good 
joke on himself in connection with it. Its 
original color was red, with gilt lines ; but 
the company, thinking it would look bet- 
ter blue, voted to repaint it, and the order 
was forthwith given; before it was com- 
pleted, however, the crew for some reason 
disbanded, leaving the owner to foot the 
bill and to stand, barring the cannibalism, 
in the position of Gilbert's " Elderly Naval 
Man," who, it will be remembered, recited 
" in a singular minor key," 

" Oh, I am a cook and the captain bold, 
And the mate of the Nancy Brig, 
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite, 
And the crew of the captain's gig." 



74 OLD BOSTON B'OYS 

I understand that this engine is still in 
good working order ; but, alas ! Pegasus, 
with bound wings, stands harnessed to the 
plow ! This " fiery " engine, instead of 
being borne as a conqueror to subdue 
flames, now plays the modest role of a gar- 
den pump, and its owner may expect any 
day to see it soar away to heaven. 



CHAPTER VIII 



IN the late fifties the game of cricket 
tried hard to get a foothold in Boston 
and several clubs were formed, among 
which were the " Bostons," the " Bay States," 
"Star and Thistle," "Young Bostons," 
" Mount Vernon," and a few others. I 
belonged to the " Young Bostons," which 
numbered among its first eleven Collins 
Warren, George MifHin, Horatio Curtis, 
Phil. Mason (afterwards killed in battle), 
Charlie and Jim Jackson, Frank Higgin- 
son, Nathan Appleton, Frank Loring, 
Harry Sturgis, and myself. 

I was very enthusiastic over this game, 
and if it had even held its own, should no 
doubt have remained loyal to it ; but the. 
Common was an impossible place for 



76 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

cricket, the hard baked ground making 
a good wicket or bowling crease out of 
the question ; and the Bostons, procuring 
grounds in East Cambridge, while the re- 
maining clubs gradually disbanded, I with 
others drifted into baseball. From that 
time until about 1885, when I joined the 
Longwood Cricket Club, I hardly had a 
cricket bat in my hands. I played with 
the latter organization about ten years 
and then retired ; at that time an honor- 
ary membership was conferred upon me, 
which I prize highly. 

Upon the East Cambridge cricket 
ground, in the year 1863, appeared for the 
first time on Massachusetts soil a lad six- 
teen years of age, who came on from New 
York, with the St. George Cricket Club, 
to play against the Bostons. He was 
called " Little Georgie," and proved him- 
self well able to hold a position upon this 
then crack eleven, and gave undoubted 
promise of the fine player and genial 




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OLD BOSTON BOYS 77 

friend which he afterwards turned out to 
be, both upon the cricket and the baseball 
field. All old-timers will at once recognize 
in this rough outline the boy who in later 
years ripened into the deservedly popular 
and brilliant all-round athlete, George 
Wright. Wright still has hosts of friends, 
and as long as he played baseball was the 
acknowledged "king" of the diamond. 
Age being, as somebody has said, simply 
a "quality of the mind," he is still a young 
man and sets us all a good example by his 
continued practice of outdoor sports. May 
he live long to enjoy them ! 

Somehow American soil is not conge- 
nial for cricket — more 's the pity ! as it is 
one of the finest and noblest of all outdoor 
sports ; it is a gentleman's game from start 
to finish, and brings forth and into play 
the best sporting instincts of which a man 
is possessed. Philadelphia has clung to it 
tenaciously and has produced players who 
lose nothing in comparison with our Eng- 



78 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

lish cousins ; but even there it seems to 
be losing its grip. It seems as if the lean 
years were upon it, and its days were num- 
bered. 

There is no doubt that the length of 
time required for a full two innings match 
(frequently two days) is a serious handicap 
for it in this country, and is at variance 
with the American temperament. The 
office boy can occasionally get a few hours 
off in the afternoon to see a baseball game, 
with the " grandmother's funeral " plea ; 
but obviously this could not be worked two 
days running, for a cricket match. 

Several of the Bay State Eleven even- 
tually joined the Bostons, thereby greatly 
strengthening the latter. Among the best 
of these were Henry Alline, Bill Joslin, 
Tom Blanchard, Moses Mellen, and John 
Barron. Alline was a fine thrower, a sure 
catch, and a tower of strength in the field. 
Joslin also was a crack fielder, and had a 
way of running in to meet a batted 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 79 

grounder, picking it up with one hand and 
throwing it to the wicket without stopping, 
which always called forth applause. The 
mere presence of these two men in the 
field served to discourage batsmen from 
attempting runs which might otherwise 
have been made without difficulty. They 
both afterwards played upon the Lowell 
Baseball Nine. 

Blanchard was a fearless batter, and 
seldom if ever wore leg guards or batting 
gloves. This was doubtless a mistake upon 
his part, as, unconsciously, part of an un- 
protected batter's attention must be given 
to avoiding personal injury ; whereas a man 
feeling moderately secure against bodily 
hurt can "wade in" to his limit. Mellen 
was a fine batter, could drive with great 
force, and was a good, all-round clean hit- 
ter. He too played with the Lowells at 
one time, catching for the second nine. 
John Barron was left-handed and would 
to-day be called a " South paw " batter. 



8o OLD BOSTON BOYS 

He bowled an exceedingly puzzling ball to 
play, as most left-handed bowlers do. 

I think that all of these last named were 
graduates of the old Phillips School, then 
located at the corner of Pinckney and An- 
derson streets, — which, by the way, turned 
out many good players at all kinds of 
sports. Ward 6 used to vote in this old 
schoolhouse, and political meetings were 
sometimes held in it. It was here that I 
once heard our great War Governor, John 
A. Andrew, speak, not long before his 
election. I did not know at the time who 
John A. Andrew was, but I remember how 
his clean-cut, crisp, and blood-stirring elo- 
quence moved everybody to wild applause. 
Once after that, during the Civil War, I 
heard him again ; but this time it was a 
dinner conversation between him and the 
late John M. Forbes, at the latter's house 
in Milton, where I and a few other young 
fellows were present as friends of his son 
Malcolm. I well recall how fascinating 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 81 

the talk was between these two brilliant 
men. 

In October of i860, Gerrit S. Miller, or 
" Gat " as his multitude of friends love to 
call him, came on from Peterboro', N. Y., 
to enter the private Latin school of Mr. 
E. S. Dixwell; he was at once hailed as a 
most valuable addition to our boy world, 
and has continued valuable to all of us for 
forty-five years. Mr. Dixwell's school, 
founded in 185 1, was located in Boylston 
Place, in a house which he built specially 
for it, and was recognized as the finest 
private school in Boston. Boys were here 
fitted for college, and any graduate who 
bore Mr. Dixwell's hall-mark was suffi- 
ciently guaranteed without further ques- 
tion. 

At the time that Miller entered this 
school it had a fine football team, upon 
which he at once took a prominent place. 
In that same fall they played against the 
Boston Public Latin School and beat them, 



82 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

with a team composed of Walter Hunne- 
well, "Bunty" Bradford, Bill Goddard, 
Charlie Rand, Jim Chadwick, Bob New- 
ell, Lawrence Tucker, Charlie McBurney, 
Bob Peabody, Tom Dwight, Pat Jackson, 
Alfred Greenough, and three others. 

In the fall of 1861 they played another 
match game with the Latin School ; but 
this time the latter played with a team 
picked from the first and second classes. 
It was a memorable game and worthy of 
special mention, in that it was the most 
stubbornly fought match that ever took 
place upon the Common in those days, and 
also the longest ever played anywhere, so 
far as my knowledge goes. 

I have said that the Latin School team 
was composed of first and second class 
boys, and this is true with but one excep- 
tion. Although I belonged to the third 
class, my playing was deemed sufficiently 
good to warrant its being utilized upon this 
occasion, as our full strength was needed 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 83 

to meet Dixwell's game fighters. Upon 
our team there were Tom and Bill Blaikie, 
Jim Bodge, Sam Frothingham and his 
brother Donald, Sumner Paine, Tom Nel- 
son, Ned Fenno, Jack Oviatt, Ned Clark, 
and myself, while upon the other side were 
Charlie McBurney and his brother Jack, 
Bob Peabody, Tom D wight, John Duff, 
Bob Boit, Fred Shattuck, Frank Peabody, 
Gat Miller, Cliff Watson, and Bob Law- 
rence. 

Usually matches were decided by the 
best two games out of three ; but in this 
instance our opponents, reasoning that 
though we averaged heavier and older boys, 
they were the better trained, and might 
eventually wear us down if the contest were 
a long one, proposed that it should be best 
three out of five ; to which luckily for us 
we consented, since it resulted in their un- 
doing, as will be seen. 

The goals were Beacon Street Mall upon 
one side, and the path leading from Flag- 



84 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

staff Hill to Charles Street upon the other. 
There was quite a wind blowing, and 
Dixwell's boys, w T inning the toss, chose 
the side with the wind, thus giving us the 
kick-off. In this game they started in like 
young tigers and did us up in fifteen min- 
utes. In the next game we woke up a bit, 
but although we had the wind to help us, 
it took forty minutes to land the ball past 
their goal. This evened things up as far 
as games went, but it could be seen at a 
glance that we were being outplayed. 

In the third game we managed to stand 
them off five minutes longer than in the 
first ; but they finally " warmed " us again, 
this time requiring twenty minutes to do 
the trick. Right here was where their un- 
doing came in ; for if the match had been 
two out of three, they would have had 
us beaten then and there ; but we have all 
had, I take it, more or less experience with 
that short but potent " if." 

We started in at once upon the fourth 



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Gerrit S. Miller R. Clifford Watson 




John P. Hall 



James D'Wolf Lovett 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 85 

game, and though we again had the wind 
to contend with, after a protracted struggle 
of forty-five minutes we gained the coveted 
goal. The match now stood two all, and 
every belt was drawn up another hole ; for 
the tug of war was on, and the wind hav- 
ing died down, we were upon an equal 
footing. The fifth and deciding game was 
at once called, and I cannot do better than 
to quote the late lamented Cliff Watson's 
entertaining version of it forty years after- 
wards at a reunion dinner (several of which 
he gave at the Union Club to four of us 
veterans, Gat Miller, Jim Ames, John Hall, 
and myself), relating how Jim Lovett 
loafed around with his hands in his pock- 
ets, during the first four games, and then, 
when everybody else was used up, finally 
woke up and finished the game, after forty- 
seven minutes, by kicking the winning 
goal, thus ending the match and justifying 
the selection of a third class player. 

Right here let me say that the cherished 



86 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

memory of Cliff Watson will always be a 
delight and a joy to everybody who knew 
him. He was at all times loyal to the 
friends of his ante-collegiate days, and no- 
thing delighted him more than to gather 
them around him and to fight over again 
the old battles lost and won, of our boyhood 
days. Vale, old friend, vale ! 

In this match, for two hours and forty- 
seven minutes we were engaged in con- 
stant action except when the ball went 
out of bounds, and then it was at once 
brought back and put into play again. 
One game followed another in rapid suc- 
cession, with no opportunity for a rest 
and a rub-down between times, so that the 
test was one of endurance as well as skill. 
I, personally, am sadly ignorant of the 
modern game of football, and will let those 
wiser than I comment upon and discuss its 
merits as compared with those of the old 
game, open, full of stirring episodes, and 
intelligible at any stage to every onlooker. 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 87 

I attended a Harvard-Yale game not so 
many years ago, and as I sat trying to 
study out what was being done in one cor- 
ner of the gridiron, where both teams were 
apparently welded into one solid mass 
which every few seconds would sway and 
heave, perhaps a foot or two, in one direc- 
tion, and then, as though having changed 
its mind, sway and heave back again, the 
simile (a lame one, I admit), would occur 
to me of the situation in a billiard match 
where the skillful wielder of the cue gets 
the balls " jawed " in a corner. With won- 
derful delicacy of touch he plays the third 
ball upon them, back and forth, an inch at 
a time, click, click, back and forth, back 
and forth, until, after ten or fifteen minutes 
have been spent in this way, the spectator, 
while fully appreciating the manipulator's 
skill, yawns and frets and fidgets, and 
longs to see the balls break ; when at last 
this happens, he instantly resumes his in- 
terest, and with kindling eye hails with 



88 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

pleasure the beautiful round - the - table 
shots, and feels that he is now seeing 
billiards. Far be it from me to attempt to 
depreciate the splendid output of muscular 
energy displayed in the aforesaid corner 
of the gridiron ; nor do I for a moment 
question the skill and strategy exercised 
in the planning and execution of these 
attacks ; but somehow I felt that the balls 
were constantly being "jawed," and I 
longed to see more round-the-table shots, 
— in fact, " billiards." 

And then the suits of armor, together 
with the presence of the ready surgeon 
and the waiting stretcher (and, for aught 
I know, the undertaker), made it all savor 
a little too strongly of the Roman amphi- 
theatre to be compatible with what foot- 
ball seems intended for, namely, a healthy 
and invigorating pastime. 

I remember once seeing some boy, I 
forget whom, overtake and spring upon 
the back of Tom Nelson, who was running 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 89 

with the ball ; no doubt he thought there- 
by to down Tom and get the ball away 
from him. Nelson, who, by the way, was 
one of the most powerful men who ever 
entered Harvard College, continued pla- 
cidly upon his way, apparently unconscious 
of the other's presence, and, when he got 
ready, calmly shook the passenger from 
off his back much as a mastiff might get 
rid of a troublesome pup, and proceeded 
to kick the ball according to original in- 
tentions. 

On another occasion I was chasing one 
of Dixwell's boys who had the ball and was 
a very fast runner. Finding I could not 
catch him, I made a flying leap of some 
ten or twelve feet and landed between his 
shoulders. The impact sent us both sprawl- 
ing, but he, in falling, released the ball, 
and I, who was uppermost, got it and saved 
the situation. I sometimes see this gentle- 
man upon the street, and wonder if he re- 
members the circumstance as well as I do. 



go OLD BOSTON BOYS 

When chasing an opponent Billy Sar- 
gent, a fine player, had a neat trick of 
ranging up alongside the other man, 
reaching around, grabbing hold of his far- 
ther shoulder, and by a quick jerk turning 
him half round, so that he suddenly found 
himself " facing backwards;" the impetus 
acquired by running did the rest, and nine 
times out of ten his legs would get so 
tangled up that he would tumble all over 
himself. I know all about it, for I have 
been there. 



CHAPTER IX 



IN 1863, the Oneida Football Club 
was organized and composed of mem- 
bers of Mr. Dixwell's school and three 
outsiders, namely, Malcolm Forbes and 
John Hall from the English High, and 
myself, from the Public Latin School. It 
was a very strong club and played matches 
repeatedly with the Boston Public Latin 
School, the English High and Dorchester 
High schools, beating them so easily that a 
match was made with the combined forces 
of the Boston Latin and English High 
schools, Mac Forbes being their captain ; 
but even this array could make no head- 
way against us, and they did not score 
once. In fact, we were never beaten, and 
what is more remarkable, no combination 
ever made a single goal against us. 



92 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

The word " goal " here used seems to 
need some explanation in view of what is 
now understood by that term. In the old 
game there were no " touchdowns " nor 
was the ground marked off by lines of any 
kind; in fact, there was no "gridiron," 
nothing but straight football, — and by 
straight football I mean that from the time 
of the " kick-off " there was no cessation, 
no " let-up " (except when the ball went out 
of bounds, and then it was at once brought 
back and put into play again), until one 
side or the other landed the ball over any 
part of the opponents' boundary line. 
When this was effected, a goal was 
claimed, which ended the game ; so that 
the terms " goal " and " game " were syn- 
onymous. The difference between guard- 
ing a line the entire width of the ground 
and one a few feet long between the up- 
right poles of to-day's game can readily 
be seen. 

This champion team was made up of 




186£. 



from 



School^ 



Arnold, E. L. 
Boit, R. A. 
Bowditch, E. 
Brooks, W. 
Davis, F. 



RUBBER FOOTBALL 

WON BY THE ONEIDA FOOTBALL CLUB 

Names of team painted on the ball 

Hall, J. 

Lawrence, R. M. 
Lovett, J. D'W. 
Miller, G. S. (Capt.) 
Peabody, F. G. 



Scudder, W. S. 
Thies, L. 
Tucker, L. 
Watson, R. C. 
Wolcott, H. F. 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 93 

the following players : Gat Miller, captain, 
Ned Bowditch, Ned Arnold, Bob Boit, John 
Hall, Frank Peabody, Winthrop Scudder, 
Lawrence Tucker, " Hunty " Wolcott, 
Cliff Watson, Bob Lawrence, Louis Thies, 
Walter Brooks, Frank Davis, and myself. 
It is needless to say that each one of the 
above was a very strong player in his 
position, and to particularize would be dif- 
ficult after so many years ; but I can say 
that on the rush line Cliff Watson, Frank 
Peabody, Walter Brooks, Frank Davis, 
and John Hall were tough propositions to 
run up against. Watson was a strategist, 
par excellence, and could extricate the ball 
from more tight places than any one else 
upon the team. Gat Miller was our sheet 
anchor as " tender out," or " full-back " as 
it is called to-day, and a tower of strength 
when the ball got past the rest of the team ; 
the fact I have stated above, that a goal 
was never made against us, is sufficient 
testimony to his reliability, steadiness, and 



94 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

skill in that most important position. Ar- 
nold was the fleetest of foot, with Boit and 
Tucker good seconds. Bowditch, Scud- 
der, Lawrence, Wolcott, and Thies were 
ever watchful and played into each other's 
hands with skill and judgment. 

Roger Wolcott, also a member of this 
club, was a boy whom we all loved and 
respected ; ever fair and square, high- 
minded, honest and above-board ; with the 
passing years these qualities deepened and 
strengthened and came to be recognized 
universally, until the people of Massachu- 
setts gave him the highest gift in their 
power and made him governor. It is not 
for me to say how faithfully and wisely he 
upheld and added fresh lustre to the honor 
of the old Bay State. It was said of the 
late Jonas Chickering, the founder of the 
house of Chickering and Sons, that his 
character was like his pianos, " upright, 
square, and grand." Surely the same trib- 
ute can truthfully be applied to the 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 95 

straightforward and beautiful life of Roger 
Wolcott. 

In one match game Ned Arnold and one 
of our opponents were both running at top 
speed towards each other, intent only upon 
kicking the ball, which lay about midway 
between them, and apparently with that 
same utter contempt for personal danger 
which Farragut so forcibly expressed for 
torpedoes in Mobile Harbor. The ball 
was fairly struck, simultaneously, from 
either side, with the result that it was 
ripped asunder like a paper bag. The fact 
that Ned's opponent flinched a hair and 
swerved slightly was all that prevented a 
bad " head on " collision. As it was, how- 
ever, two surprised bodies, tumbling head- 
long past each other for ten or fifteen feet 
was, fortunately, the extent of the damage. 

The Common was the only playground 
in Boston to which we had access, and 
among those who congregated there daily 
for football, hockey, or what not, were 



96 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

Henry Cabot Lodge, William Walley, 
Sam Cabot, Arthur Brooks, George Ly- 
man, Charlie and Rollins Morse, George 
Mifflin, Cabot Russell, Sam and Gus Brad- 
street, Arthur Beebe, Henry and Joe 
Fay, Billy Field, Lem Stanwood, " Ren " 
Thayer, Ned Burgess, Malcolm Green- 
ough, Frank Manning, Frank Nicholson, 
Tom Motley, and a host of others. 

It is a somewhat mournful pleasure to 
look with retrospective eye, through forty 
years, and see once more the familiar faces 
gathering upon the old Parade Ground for 
the afternoon's game of football. Well may 
we marvel to-day to see ourselves again 
sprinting across the grassy stretch; eyes 
bright with youth and health ; muscles firm 
and each joint supple and moving like 
clockwork. Yes, it is undeniably a plea- 
sure to us who survive, to know that we old 
fellows could and did enjoy these things ; 
the remembrance of them will remain with 
us a joy forever. Is it indeed possible that 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 97 

this young fellow whom we, looking back- 
wards, see bounding with the spring of an 
antelope, is the gray-haired man, walking 
a trifle stiffly, with whom I was chatting 
yesterday ? 

What fun it was to see Arthur Beebe, 
with body bent close to the ground, patting 
the ball with his hands, this way and that, 
steering it clear of the ravening wolves 
who were pursuing and rapidly hemming 
him in, until, suddenly straightening him- 
self, he deftly tossed the ball over the sur- 
rounding heads into the ready hands of an 
alert partner, who in his turn helped it on 
the way to the enemy's boundary line. Bob 
Peabody and Walter Hunnewell were also 
adepts in these tactics. Such players might 
be likened to the torpedo boats of a fleet, 
darting rapidly about and causing confu- 
sion to the enemy. Battleships were typi- 
fied in powerful Tom Nelson, Frank Davis, 
Malcolm Forbes, Sam Bradstreet, and 
others. Swift cruisers and indeed all the 



98 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

types of our modern vessels, except sub- 
marine craft, were represented in these 
football battles. 

Before commencing the afternoon's 
games, it was the custom to place our 
coats, vests, etc., in a pile upon one side of 
the ground. Not unfrequently strangers 
of a predatory turn of mind would be seen 
showing undue curiosity about the collec- 
tion of clothing, and this uncalled-for in- 
terest would demand prompt attention. 
Upon these occasions we usually looked to 
Sam Bradstreet to take the initiative, and 
he never failed us. Sam was a peace-loving 
boy like the rest of us, but at the first 
smell of powder he would make a bee-line 
for the biggest and toughest looking of the 
invaders, and, with an apparent zest which 
was lovely to see, sail in, rarely failing to 
bag his game and strike consternation to 
the hearts of the rest of the intruders, who 
would thereupon flee from the wrath to 
come and leave us in peace. I know Sam 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 99 

will not mind my telling these tales out of 
school, for we were all proud of him ; and 
then, he did it all with such abounding 
good nature ! 

Pat Jackson was very effective in taking 
a " free kick," that is, with no one to inter- 
fere with him. He sent the ball a long dis- 
tance, and in the act of kicking used to 
clear the ground with both feet. 

Sam Cabot was a tough customer to run 
foul of, and whoever he tackled might as 
well give it up first as last, for when he set 
his grip it " stayed put " until he thought 
proper to release his victim. 

" Lurking," known to-day as being " off 
side," was considered by fair-minded boys 
as an offense not to be countenanced for a 
moment, even if the boy guilty of jt was 
on one's own side. It was a trick very 
rarely resorted to in those days, in which 
a boy tried to sneak around in among 
the enemy and wait for his own side to 
kick the ball his way, when his chances for 



ioo OLD BOSTON BOYS 

getting it past the opponent's full-back 
were much increased. Our law was to 
" keep moving towards the ball," wherever 
it might be. 

Ned Burgess, who in later life became 
the world renowned yacht designer, was a 
very agile player and always seemed to be 
in the right place. This agility he kept up 
all through his too short life, as is testified 
by his famous handspring upon the deck 
of his boat after each victory. 

The Parade Ground, and that part of 
the Common between "Flagstaff" and the 
smaller hill known to us as the "hollow," 
were the two football grounds. The latter 
has since been filled in, and beneath the 
new earth lie buried many pleasant .mem- 
ories of some of our happiest boyhood 
days. 

In the early afternoons, before the foot- 
ball devotees had assembled, some half a 
dozen of us would get up impromptu jump- 
ing matches. In these contests Gat Miller 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 101 

and I usually took the lead. We were very 
evenly matched and could cover eleven 
feet six inches in one standing jump with 
weights, and in three standing jumps a 
shade better than thirty-four feet. The 
professional jumpers of to-day will smile 
at these figures ; but we were only boys of 
seventeen or eighteen years of age, and 
could no doubt have done better if we had 
taken to it seriously. 

Speaking of jumping reminds me that 
so far as I have ever known, Horatio Cur- 
tis and myself were the only two boys who 
could vault over the Common fence. It 
was not alone the height that made the 
feat difficult, but the pointed iron pickets, 
which presented a formidable obstacle, 
owing to the danger involved, besides the 
difficulty of getting a firm hold upon them. 
Later, when in Harvard College, Curtis 
was a crack oarsman and pulled stroke for 
the 1864 'Varsity crew. 

The ability to vault this fence served 



ioa OLD BOSTON BOYS 

me a good turn one afternoon when some 
home-coming regiment was encamped upon 
the Parade Ground, and gained for me the 
coveted admission inside the lines. I was 
standing upon Charles Street, outside the 
fence, and the imperturbable policeman, 
to whom I had made several touching ap- 
peals to be allowed to pass within the lines, 
remained obdurate. A final effort, how- 
ever, on my part, elicited from him the 
information that he had received " sthrict 
ordthers to prevint anywan from climbin' 
the fince, but," he added with withering 
sarcasm, " if you can squaze yoursilf through 
the bars or fly over thim, come on in and 
divil a word '11 I say." The last word was 
still vibrating under his moustache when 
I had hold of the pickets, and before he 
could wink landed in front of him. He 
looked at me for a moment in amazement, 
and then, " Howly Moses ! me by, that 
was a grand le'p, but," reflectively, " I hope 
no more of thim out there has wings like 




Drawn, at the age of 14, by Edwm 11. lilaslineld 



BORODINO 

? 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 103 

that, or I'll lose me job!" (I stood close 
beside the old fence the other day, at the 
same spot, and it is my firm conviction 
that it has grown at least two feet since I 
was a boy.) 

One afternoon, while some of us were 
throwing a ball, striving to carom on the 
golden one which tipped the flagstaff on 
the big hill, it got lodged upon the cradle, 
perhaps fifty or sixty feet from the ground, 
whereupon John Hall coolly went to work 
in a business-like way and with the help 
of the halliards mounted to the ball's rest- 
ing place and rescued it, amidst the cheers 
of those looking on. I often afterwards 
looked at the old flagstaff and wondered 
how he ever managed to get up there and 
how many of the rest of us could have 
accomplished the feat without its having 
proved to be a case of " from the cradle to 
the grave." 

Among our contemporaries were, of 
course, many boys who, lacking the inch- 



104 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

nation to join in the rough sports, sought 
recreation through gentler channels. 
Among friends of this class I recall the 
names of many who have achieved fame 
and won recognition as being leaders in 
their chosen pursuits. 

Prominent among them stands the name 
of Edwin Howland Blashfield, an artist of 
international reputation, who attended the 
Latin School during the Civil War and 
who won the admiration of his school- 
mates as well as stirred their patriotism by 
producing innumerable charming little war 
sketches which he distributed among the 
boys with reckless generosity. 

One of his classmates of that period 
writes of him as follows : " My wonder 
at Blashfleld's achievements in drawing in 
the old Latin School days is even now a 
very distinct recollection. 

" I can see as clearly as if it were yester- 
day his vividly earnest and intellectual face 
bent over his drawing, and used to marvel 




Drawn, at the age of 14, by Edwin II. Blashfield 



LANNES' ADVANCE 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 105 

daily at recess at the lifelike sketches of 
war scenes which this kindly magician 
turned out to feed the rather truculent 
patriotism of his fourteen-year-old class- 
mates. The only examples that I have 
been able to get were of the same period, 
and inspired by the ever-present Civil War, 
but were fancy sketches of Napoleonic 
conflicts. They are very remarkable for a 
boy of fourteen." 



CHAPTER X 



STEWART'S Gymnasium was one 
of Boston's institutions and flour- 
ished in the fifties. Stewart was a 
colored man and had been a clever boxer 
in his day, but a crippled hand spoiled 
his effectiveness as a fighter. Neverthe- 
less, he still donned the gloves and gave 
lessons. The gymnasium was in old Boyl- 
ston Hall, and possessed great attractions. 
Here Francis Gardner, Master of the 
Boston Latin School, used to take almost 
daily exercise. I can see him, powerful 
and active as a cat, in undershirt and 
duck trousers, performing feats upon the 
horizontal bar, parallel bars, and vaulting 
horse, easily out doing much younger men, 
perhaps with not much grace, but with a 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 107 

splendid rugged vigor which it was a plea- 
sure to see. 

There was a big five-hundred-pound 
weight near the door which seemed to stand 
there for the purpose of enticing unwary 
patrons to come and burst a blood-vessel 
in vain attempts to lift it from the floor. 
This, although often tugged and strained 
at, was seldom raised. 

Some dissatisfaction with the manage- 
ment of the gymnasium having arisen, a 
half-dozen of the most prominent gymnasts, 
among whom were Henry K. Bushnell, 
John C. Doldt, and " Tread " Kimball, with- 
drew and were instrumental in establishing 
a new and finely equipped gymnasium in 
Eliot Hall, upon the corner of Eliot and 
Tremont streets. It was called the Tre- 
mont Gymnasium and was owned by Mr. 
George H. Bacon. It was formally opened 
on September 1, 1859, with John C. Doldt 
as manager and instructor. It continued 
to flourish until 1872, when it was bought, 



108 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

together with all its apparatus, by the 
Young Men's Christian Association. 

It was here that many of the boys pre- 
viously mentioned in this volume obtained 
their first lessons in physical culture, which 
later on stood some of those who went to 
college in good stead, and no doubt was of 
material assistance in gaining for them a 
seat in the 'Varsity boat or a place upon 
the ball team. The janitor of this gymna- 
sium was kindly old John Coulighan, whom 
we all pleasantly remember. The best per- 
formers were Henry K. Bushnelland John 
Doldt, who were both gymnasts of a high 
order ; indeed, Bushnell's giant swing and 
his front and back horizontals are not sur- 
passed by any one upon the stage to-day. 
Doldt was superb in the flying rings, and 
could reach the high ceiling in three or four 
swings. His one arm back horizontal is 
well remembered also by all who ever saw 
it. The late Dr. Rimmer considered Bush- 
nell's back to be the best developed he 




Doldt's one-arm hold 
Kendrick's arm development 



Bushnell's half-arm hold 
Bushnell's back development 



A GROUP OF GYMNASTS 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 109 

had ever seen, and made repeated sketches 
of it 

Oliver Coe was a fine athlete, and his 
pectoral muscles were something wonder- 
ful. Kimball was good, too, as were also 
John Alden and John Parker, the latter 
afterwards developing into a fine oarsman. 
Butts was the strong man of the gymna- 
sium, and was truly Herculean. He used 
to swing an Indian club nearly as big and 
heavy as himself. Sam Austin's " pull up " 
with one arm was the fairest and squarest 
possible. His one hundred and eighty 
pounds, hanging from his fully extended 
arm, would slowly start, with no suggestion 
of a jerk, and with no apparent effort rise 
until his chin was well above his hand. I 
forget how many times he could do this 
feat. He did it with either arm alike. 
Then there were Alfred and Henry Whit- 
man (both fine oarsmen), Otis Howland, 
Everett Julio, H. P. Plummer, George 
Goss, George Procter, Billy Fisk, Mort 



no OLD BOSTON BOYS 

Kennedy, Doctor Codman, Lee Streeter, 
Billy Spring, Dan Crowley, Harry Bryant, 
Charles Dilloway, the Snow brothers, 
Charles French, John Shea, Tom Kendrick, 
and many more. Nearly all of these were 
older than we were and shone as stars at 
the exhibitions. 

Doldt afterwards became a professional 
athlete, and, with George Mansfield as 
partner, traveled with various companies. 
He was universally liked, being quiet, 
gentlemanly, and unassuming. In later 
life he was instructor in a Providence, 
R. I., gymnasium, and died not many 
years ago. The genial Joe Mudge suc- 
ceeded him as instructor. Doldt was also 
a good boxer, and, although somewhat 
short of stature and reach, " got there " 
just the same. He taught several of us 
the " manly art." 

I suppose nearly all who went there re- 
member Jim Hill, who also taught boxing. 
He was a powerfully built man, and was a 





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OLD BOSTON BOYS in 

policeman upon the Fort Hill beat, — then 
about the toughest part of the city. He 
was inclined to be a bit boastful of what he 
could do with the gloves, and one day some 
of us got him to have a friendly bout with 
John Hall, one of the Oneida football team. 
Now John, although but a lad of about 
eighteen, was the best natural boxer I have 
ever seen, and in later years, ripened by 
practice with the best amateurs and such 
professionals as Godfrey and others, was 
undoubtedly as good as any, if not the best, 
amateur boxer in Boston. He never knew 
the word fear, no matter who faced him. 
As I have said, he was only a lad at this 
time, while Hill was a man, and a good one 
at that ; but John was possessed of a few 
points which Hill lacked, — a long reach, 
great hitting power, and a head that never 
got rattled. The consequence was that 
he "landed" at will, and Hill was much 
crestfallen. The whole affair was, how- 
ever, perfectly friendly on both sides, and 



ii2 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

the promoters of the little scheme were 
delighted at John's victory. 

Poor Jim Hill's end was a sad one. In 
one of his many rough experiences with 
the Fort Hill toughs, he was so hard 
pressed that he had recourse to his revolver 
and had the misfortune to shoot an inno- 
cent bystander, for which accident he was 
dismissed from the force. He never re- 
covered from the blow, took to drink, and 
died a complete wreck. 

Ned Fenno was another fine boxer, and 
made a name for himself while at Harvard. 
Malcolm Forbes was a splendid exponent 
of the art, being a very quick and powerful 
hitter. Joe Fay, too, was among the best, 
as well as being a noted oarsman. In 1869 
he pulled bow in the Harvard international 
crew that rowed Oxford on the Thames. 1 

But the sport has changed since the 
days of which I write, and the tactics and 
present mode of boxing would render it 
extremely doubtful if the straight-from-the- 

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OLD BOSTON BOYS 113 

shoulder hitting of a man like John C. 
Heenan or Tom Sayers would prevail to- 
day against the shifty, swinging blows, 
half hooks, vicious jabs, lightning-like at- 
tacks and retreats of such men, for in- 
stance, as Britt, " Battling " Nelson, and a 
score of others, to say nothing of Fitzsim- 
mons, who in his prime could no doubt 
have put the finish to any of the old fight- 
ers of the forties, fifties, or sixties in less 
than fifteen rounds ; whereas we read of 
old-time battles frequently lasting over 
one hundred rounds, both in this country 
and in England. The longest battle upon 
record consisted of two hundred and 
seventy-six rounds ! 



CHAPTER XI 



THE Tremont Gymnasium was 
often visited by the Hanlon Bro- 
thers when performing in Bos- 
ton, and William, the imitator of the 
French Leotard in the great triple trapeze 
act which Hanlon called by the wonderful 
name " Zampillaerostation," was looked 
upon by us as more than an ordinary mor- 
tal. 

Tom Hanlon was the most powerful of 
the brothers and was truly a wonder in his 
line of business. His skill as a gymnast is 
well shown by the following example. He 
dropped into the office of the gymnasium 
one afternoon and Doldt told him that he 
had just received a new horizontal bar 
and added, " Come out, Tom, and see what 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 115 

you think of it," and they accordingly went 
into the hall to inspect it. 

Hanlon, who by the way, had not re- 
moved his overcoat, jumped up, caught 
hold and tested it with his weight several 
times and said it had a good spring and 
was a fine bar. He then grasped it again, 
with his palms towards him, and gently 
and apparently with no exertion drew him- 
self up until his arms were at full length 
above the bar ; the marvel of this feat ly- 
ing in the fact that his full weight during 
the greater part of the time occupied in its 
execution was supported entirely by his 
thumbs. 

There was an Englishman who used to 
attend the gymnasium for a while, very 
strong in the wrists, with a strange symbol 
tattoed upon his upper arm. He one day 
explained to us, in reply to questioning, 
that he had hunted big game in Africa; 
belonged to a hunting club there and that 
a certain mark was put upon each member 



n6 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

as a means of identification in case of 
death in the jungle. It may be supposed 
that this did not tend to diminish our in- 
terest in him, and I have often wondered 
if he ever returned to Africa, and was 
finally identified by the very mark upon 
which we had gazed. 

Dr. Winship, whom many will remem- 
ber as a wonderful lifter of heavy weights 
with a shoulder harness, opened a gymna- 
sium on Washington Street, next door to 
the Boston Theatre, which, after the Tre- 
mont Gymnasium had closed its doors, 
several of us attended. 

Dr. Winship seemed to take a fancy to 
me, perhaps because I could beat him at 
vaulting and taught him a few little tricks 
which he had never seen. 

He was one of the very few men who 
could pull himself up to his chin by one 
little finger. It is a wonderful feat, and the 
record is six times in succession. He could 
do it, however, but once, and had to do it 




Julio Taylor Bushnell Heard 

Kimball Coe Mudge 



McDuff Mullen 
Blanchard 




Roberts Streeter Unknown Kendrick Dean 

Spring Bacon Plummer Dr. Codman 



GYMNASTS AT TREMONT GYMNASIUM 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 117 

every day, as a skip of a day made it 
harder to do next time. 

When his little finger, hooked on to a 
strap, commenced to stretch and straighten 
with his dead weight upon it, it always 
seehied as if the tendons must give way ; 
but he did it without much apparent effort. 

He carried the heavy weight system, 
however, to extremes, and died a compar- 
atively young man. As we all know now, 
this system of exercising is dead wrong, 
and will probably never again come into 
vogue, except with professional strong 
men, or with those working for some par- 
ticular record in that line. 

Dr. Winship invented a dumb-bell which 
could be graduated from twenty pounds up 
to one hundred and four, one of which I 
owned for years. 

During these days the Civil War was in 
full swing, and although boys' sports, to- 
gether with the various amusements of the 
day, went on much as usual, still there was 



n8 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

a minor chord running through it all, which 
would not down until the glorious tidings 
came from Appomattox. 

The Common presented scenes which 
will never be repeated, thank God ! Here 
were encamped regiments passing through 
Boston en route for the front, and it was 
a joy, which still comes back with a thrill, 
to get through the lines, which I always 
did, and mingle with the soldiers, collect 
six or eight canteens at a time, take them 
to the drinking fountain at the corner of 
Charles and Beacon streets, and fill them 
for their owners. 

The famous Ellsworth Zouaves gave 
an exhibition here one afternoon of their 
wonderful lightning drill, and a short time 
afterwards came the news of Ellsworth's 
tragic death in Alexandria, while in the act t 
of lowering a Confederate flag. 

At another time two gigantic soldiers in 
a Maine regiment gave what they called 
the " bear dance." It was irresistibly funny 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 119 

to see these big fellows drop upon all fours 
and approach each other, with growls and 
grotesque antics, until, rising upon their 
hind legs, they embraced in the death hug 
and finally rolled over and over, each well- 
nigh exhausted. 

Later on, however, the scene was 
changed, and instead of the outgoing, full 
regiments leaving us amid cheers, waving 
handkerchiefs, and stirring military music, 
behold the home-coming of the veteran 
remnants of the same, with stern, bronzed 
faces and carrying the same dear old flags, 
some tattered into ribbons, with here and 
there but a shattered staff where one had 
hung, but borne more proudly because of 
their having been consecrated by heroes' 
blood in defense of the Union. 

Upon these occasions the cheers would 
again roll forth, but with quavers and sobs 
in them; and eyes were filled with tears 
as the thinned ranks filed past. 

It was a wonderful time for an American 



120 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

boy in a Northern city, far removed from 
the scenes of actual carnage, to have lived 
through. May it be the last ! 

Recruiting tents were erected on the 
Common ; one in particular I remember 
upon the big hill, where crowds listened 
to ringing speeches made by any one who 
felt moved by the spirit to do so. Many 
spoke who had just returned from the 
front, and enlistments usually followed 
such speakers in rapid succession; one 
young fellow, a little the worse for wear, 
declared that he 'd enlist if he were a " para- 
lyzed corpse," amid cheers and shouts of 
laughter. Oh, yes, there was lots of fun 
mingled with it, too. 

One man from the front, while exhort- 
ing others to enlist, mentioned the fact 
that he had been on the fighting line and 
had been wounded, but that he didn't 
mind little things like that and was going 
back for more. Some one in the crowd 
sang out, " Where 's your wound ? " where- 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 121 

upon he retorted, " Come inside the tent, 
dubious Thomas, and I '11 show it to you ! " 
The crowd laughed at his doubtful ad- 
jective, and he continued his exhortation 
without further interruption. 

Among our own comrades who died 
that the old Flag might live, three names 
stand out prominently in my memory: 
" Hunty " Wolcott, brother of our late gov- 
ernor, and Will Freeman, who were both 
stricken with disease and were sent home 
invalided, but to die; and Cabot Russell, 
who, though of quiet and modest bearing, 
which made him seem better fitted for 
peace than for war, was nevertheless made 
of the same heroic stuff as were Stevenson, 
Shaw, Bartlett, Cushing, Merriam, and a 
host of others. Russell fell in the gallant 
charge upon Fort Wagner. Aye, hats off, 
boys, to such names as these ! 

Any boy who saw a military funeral in 
those days will never forget it. The scene 
comes back to me of the funeral proces- 



122 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

sion of Colonel Fletcher Webster, of the 
Twelfth Massachusetts. 

The band, with muffled drums, was play- 
ing the "Dead March" in "Saul;" the 
coloners horse, with trappings, was led by 
his colored servant; the flag, furled, was 
draped with black ; and the slow tread of 
the soldiers, with reversed arms, was all 
inexpressibly pathetic, and I crept into a 
doorway and silently wept. 

Many evenings were spent by hundreds 
of families in scraping lint for the hospit- 
als — " lint bees " they might be called, as 
friends were invited to help, refreshments 
were served, etc. At these meetings mit- 
tens for the soldiers were also made with 
a place for the forefinger, thus allowing it 
freedom in pulling the trigger. 

The Public Latin School presented a 
flag to Company D of the Twelfth Massa- 
chusetts, which was commanded by gallant 
Captain Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, Jr., himself 
an old Latin School boy, and while this 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 123 

regiment was stationed at Fort Warren 
we pupils went down to attend the presen- 
tation. The speech was made by Arthur 
Brooks, brother of the late Bishop Brooks, 
and we had been drilled in singing a song 
for the occasion, the words of which were 
composed by a son of Mr. Capen, after- 
wards principal of the Latin School. They 
went to the tune of " Yankee Doodle," and 
the first few lines, which are all I can 
recall, ran as follows : — 

" Still first, as long and long ago, 
Let Massachusetts muster, 
Give her the post right next the foe ; 
Be sure that you can trust her." 

To those of us who had near relatives 
in the army, the war seemed of course a 
much sterner reality than to those who 
had not. 

My brother enlisted twice, and during 
his absence each day's news from the front 
seemed to have, as it were, some family 



124 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

connection about it, or direct, personal 
message. 

True it is that times of peace can only 
be appreciated at their full value by those 
who know, by personal experience, what a 
long, heart-breaking war means. 



CHAPTER XII 



IT seems to be the natural instinct of a 
boy, as soon as he finds the use of his 
arms, to want to " bat " something, ac- 
companied by the desire to see the object 
thus batted give some evidence of having 
been affected by it, either in the exclama- 
tion of Nurse, as he lands his dimpled 
boxing glove upon her physiognomy, or, 
if the object be an inanimate one, to see 
it recoil before his prowess. This latter 
is naturally a ball of some kind, and is pa- 
tiently brought back that he may repeat 
the operation ad infinitum. 

As soon as he can toddle alone he pur- 
sues and kicks the ball from place to place, 
or strikes it with his hand, stick, or what 
not, thus developing the incipient stages 



126 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

of football or baseball, until his efforts grad- 
ually increasing through the coming years, 
finally culminate upon the " gridiron " or 
" diamond." This natural affinity between 
bat and ball is as old as the human race. 

The affinity between " bats " of a differ- 
ent nature and "high balls" will not be 
touched upon, though it might be noted 
that this relaxation also sometimes culmi- 
nates in the gridiron, the bars, however, 
assuming a perpendicular, instead of a 
horizontal position. 

Games in which a ball was used are of 
very ancient origin, as we know ; but when, 
where, and by whom first played is beyond 
our ken. Homer, in the Odyssey, mentions 
the Phaeacian damsels as playing ball to 
the sound of music ; and later, Shakespeare 
speaks of the games of " base " and " round- 
ers." This latter some authorities claim to 
be a direct ancestor of our present game 
of baseball, while others differ from this 
opinion. Mr. A. G. Spaulding disclaims 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 127 

the rounders ancestry, and thinks that the 
game as now played was evolved from what 
was known as " two old cats, three old 
cats," etc. 

That veteran and " father " of our na- 
tional game, Mr. Henry Chadwick, in a 
treatise upon the subject, published in 
1868, holds to the opinion that "rounders" 
was changed to "town ball," and that this 
later on was again changed into our old 
Massachusetts game, the change consist- 
ing mainly in the fact that the ball was 
increased in size and weight and thrown 
to the batter instead of being pitched or 
tossed ; and that this latter was in turn 
converted into the " New York " or Na- 
tional game as we know it to-day. 

In view of the fact that when we could 
not get hands enough for the Massachu- 
setts game we used to content ourselves 
with two, three, or four old cats, as the case 
might be, and counted the latter as merely 
a makeshift instead of a distinct game by 



128 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

itself, it seems to me that each of them 
contributed something towards the game 
as played to-day, instead of either one be- 
ing the direct parent of it. 

However, whatever the origin of our 
National game may have been, it is to-day 
a good, healthy recreation, calling for re- 
cruits who must be sound mentally and 
physically, and therefore a game making 
for the good of our young men, and, to- 
gether with other outdoor sports sprung up 
since its adoption, it has effectually freed 
us Americans from the reproach that used 
to be cast upon us by our English relatives, 
of being a nation given only to seeking the 
almighty dollar. 

Moreover, the game has come to stay, 
and while, doubtless, still capable of many 
improvements, it will increase in popularity 
as time goes on, rather than fall off, as 
cricket has, in this country. 

The first regularly organized club to 
play the Massachusetts game in New 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 129 

England was the " Olympics " of Boston, 
in 1854. In 1855 the " Elm Trees " took 
root, and in 1857 the "Green Mountains" 
and " Hancocks " saw the light. 

The last named was a junior club for 
which Sam Bradstreet caught and I threw. 
We played many matches with other ju- 
nior clubs from the suburbs but were never 
defeated. Bradstreet was a fine catcher 
and could almost pick a ball off the striker's 
bat. I used to throw a swift ball about 
where he signaled for it, and the battery 
was counted a good one. The ball had a 
small buckshot in its centre and was cov- 
ered with buckskin or chamois leather. 

Instead of throwing to the baseman, to 
cut off a runner, as is now done, the ball 
was thrown directly at the runner himself : 
a moving object, however, is not so easy to 
hit and many misses were made as well as 
bull's-eyes. I remember once seeing Harry 
Forbush of the Olympics in a hard-fought 
game with a Holliston club, which was one 



i 3 o OLD BOSTON BOYS 

of the best in the State, following up a base 
runner, but a little afraid to throw at him 
for fear of a miss, the man being ready 
to " duck at the flash," so he feinted and 
the man dropped like lightning upon his 
stomach, whereupon Harry, who was now 
nearly over him, grinned with triumph and 
let him have it as tight as he could throw. 
The fellow squirmed a little, but nothing 
could be said. The close rivalry between 
the clubs no doubt put a little unnecessary 
ginger into Forbush's arm ; but that was 
the game. 

Four stout stakes driven into the ground, 
leaving about five feet out, were used as 
bases. In one of the Hancocks* games a 
runner was playing well off the first base 
and I, instead of throwing to Brads treet, 
changed the direction a little and struck 
the unsuspecting runner full in the stom- 
ach. It did not hurt him much, but the 
surprise and dismay upon his face at thus 
suddenly finding himself put out caused 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 131 

much laughter. It was a risky shot, but 
the game was a close one and I took the 
chances. 

Fred Nazro, Bert Bradish, Jack Oviatt, 
and Gus Bradstreet also played on this 
team. 

As there were no foul balls in this game, 
some of the players had a knack of short- 
ening up their bat, — that is, grasping it 
near the middle, — and by a quick turn of 
the wrist striking the ball, as it passed 
them, in the same direction in which it 
was thrown, thus avoiding the fielders and 
giving the striker a good start on his bases. 
This mode of striking, however, led to lots 
of trouble for the catcher, who sometimes 
got a bad blow from the bat as it was swung 
back; and it moreover led to bad blood 
between rival teams, as there is no doubt 
that catchers were sometimes intentionally 
disabled in this way. 

A purse was usually played for by the 
senior clubs, which naturally encouraged 



i 3 2 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

any sharp practice of this kind. This mode 
of back striking was carried so far that bats 
not more than twelve or fifteen inches long 
and with a flat surface were used, and in- 
stead of making any attempt to strike with 
it, this bat was merely held at a sharp an- 
gle and the ball allowed to glance off it, 
over the catcher's head. 

The back of a hairbrush would have 
served this kind of batter's purpose equally 
well, and afterwards might and should have 
been vigorously applied to him, in the good 
old-fashioned way. 



CHAPTER XIII 



TO go back a little way, let me say, 
not as a matter of interest to any- 
body, but simply as a means of 
connecting the events in the career of a 
mature ball player with the circumstances 
which led up to them, that my first attempts 
at this game were made with the leg of a 
chair and a quilted ball which my father 
made for me. 

The ready-made ball of those days, for 
sale, was either a mushy, pulpy-feeling 
thing, with a soft cotton string quilting 
over it which wore out in a few days ; or 
else a rubber one, solid or hollow, as one 
preferred ; but all equally unfit for batting 
purposes. 

The balls which my father taught me to 



134 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

make were of tightly wound yarn, with a 
bit of rubber at the core, quilted with good, 
tough twine, and would last a long time ; 
and when needed new jackets could be 
put upon them. 

Thus equipped I used to whack the ball 
about in my back yard, until I felt the 
need of a real bat; but bats could not be 
bought then as they are now — hundreds 
to choose from, of all shapes and sizes. 

Clubs had them made to order, and 
boys had to do likewise or make them 
themselves. There were no shops carry- 
ing "athletic goods," and bats were not 
often enough called for to be carried in 
stock by anybody. 

This being the case, my father again 
came to the rescue, as he always did, God 
bless him ! and made me a little bat of 
black walnut. I can see it now ; it had a 
round handle for about a foot and was then 
gradually widened out into two flat sides, 
being perhaps an inch and a half thick. I 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 135 

describe it thus minutely simply because I 
can see it so plainly and thought so much 
of it. 

He took me onto the Common with 
him one afternoon to see how it would 
work and it was a great success. Once a 
boy stole it from me, and I ran after him, 
crying, until a man rescued it and made me 
happy again. 

Like all the other boys I saw, I used to 
toss up the ball and then swing the bat 
around my head, describing a great circle, 
and perhaps connect with the former once 
in five or six times. 

I puzzled my head trying to find a bet- 
ter way to do this and finally hit upon the 
plan of drawing the bat back in a straight 
line, instead of round in a circle, and by 
this method I could soon strike the ball 
nearly every time. 

I once saw Charlie Troupe bat a solid 
rubber " peach " ball, as they were called, 
straight up into the air, w T here it went so 



136 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

high that I could scarcely believe my eyes. 
Several of us who saw him do it laughed 
in a silly sort of wonder at the length of 
time it remained up there. It really was a 
most remarkable stroke and I have never 
seen a ball knocked so " sky high " since. 

I have sometimes thought that it might 
prove rather interesting to time balls 
knocked up in this way, in order to test a 
batter's powers in this direction. 

Well, the little black walnut bat at last 
went the way of all bats, and broke ; but 
by this time I had outgrown it and wanted 
one like the others in use, — that is, round 
and not square, — so I got a carpenter to 
make me one out of spruce, according to 
my directions; it was good enough for a 
boy of my age, and stood all the strength 
that I could put into it. 

At this time a lot of the mechanics, fire- 
men, etc., of the West End occasionally used 
to meet on the Common for a game among 
themselves, and would let me take a hand ; 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 137 

but I could not strike a thrown ball with 
any great success and so they would toss 
them to " young Jimmy," as they called 
me. I did not, however, distinguish myself 
in spite of this leniency, and they would 
laugh to see me cut stripes in the atmos- 
phere. I suppose that I did sometimes 
make a hit, but I can't recall one. How- 
ever, I enjoyed the fun and kept at it and 
a little later got in with some older boys 
who, though not a regularly organized 
club, used to congregate almost every day, 
choose sides, and take in any boy who 
might want to play, if the sides were not 
already filled. 

With these boys I was put upon my 
mettle and improved rapidly. I was natu- 
rally a good thrower for a short distance, 
and my " batting eye " grew to be pretty 
accurate, so that I soon came to be chosen 
among the first. 

The mode of choosing sides was about 
as follows : one of the two captains would 



138 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

sharply toss a bat, held in a perpendicular 
position, to the other, who would catch it 
wherever he could. The one who tossed 
it would then place one of his hands above 
and touching that of the other, and so on, 
alternately, until the knob on the end was 
reached, when the last one would endeavor, 
by digging his thumb and ringer nails 
down inside the other's grip, to get such a 
hold upon it as would enable him to swing 
the bat three times around his head. Fail- 
ing to do this, the other had his first choice 
of the players for his side, and then the 
choosing proceeded alternately and rapidly. 
The reader will, no doubt, wonder why 
a coin was not " flipped " up and the first 
choice decided in a jiffy. Well, it was a 
boy's way of deciding ; and it afforded 
some sort of fun, mingled with a mild ex- 
citement, as the two neared the top of the 
bat, to watch the last one try to get a hold 
upon the rounded knob and with clenched 
teeth swing the bat around his head. 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 139 

Boys are queer animals, anyway. The 
proverbial old maid is not a circumstance 
to him as I knew him fifty years ago. He 
had to do things in just such a way and at 
just such a time. Each game had its spe- 
cially appointed season. Kite flying was 
not allowed to infringe upon top spinning, 
nor could the latter be continued when 
marbles came on deck, and so on. 

Old maid, indeed ! 



CHAPTER XIV 



IN 1857 the Hancock Club was started, 
as I have related ; and in that same 
year the New York game got the 
thin edge of its wedge into New England. 
Mr. E. G. Saltzman, a member of the 
Gotham Club of New York, for which he 
played second base, came to Boston in this 
year, and feeling the lack of his favorite 
pastime, set to work to form a club and 
teach the members the mysteries of this 
latest form of the game. It was uphill 
work, however, as the Massachusetts game 
was in full blast, and new-fangled ideas 
were looked upon with that coy conserva- 
tism which came Over from England and 
landed upon a Rock down Plymouth way 
some years previously. 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 141 

Mr. Saltzman, however, was a " stayer," 
and he had a good article ; the consequence 
being that the Tri-Mountain Club was 
formed that fall and had the honor of be- 
ing the first organization in New England 
under the new rules. 

The next city to follow the Tri-Moun- 
tain's lead was Portland, Maine, where 
the Portland Club was formed in 1858 
and in the fall of that same year visited 
Boston to try its newly fledged strength 
against its yearling rival. This of course 
was the first match ever played in New 
England under the new rules, and took 
place on the Common. 

The Portlands won by the score of 47 
to 42. This match was attended by many 
ball players, local and otherwise, who were 
curious to see what the new thing was like, 
and who looked on with a dignified toler- 
ation befitting those who " guessed " that 
the old game was good enough for them. 

But some who came to scoff remained 



142 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

to pray. It was evident that this new type 
was "catching" and that many present 
were in that condition when they are said 
to " take things." There were points about 
the new game which appealed to them. 

The pitching, instead of swift throwing, 
looked easy to hit, and the pitcher stood 
off so far, and then there was no danger 
of getting plugged with the ball while run- 
ning bases ; and the ball was so lively and 
could be batted so far ! Yes, decidedly, 
there were points about this new game 
which pleased many who had never played 
ball before, and who thought that they 
would like to try it ; so the reports spread 
until they reached Springfield, and there, 
the next spring, 1858, the Pioneer Club 
was formed, and also the Atwater of 
Westfield, the Nonotuck and Union of 
Northampton, as well as two or three 
others. The first-mentioned two were the 
leading clubs in Western Massachusetts, 
and, later on, played some fine games. 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 143 

In 1859 the Bowdoin Club was formed 
in Boston with the intention of playing 
ball in the good old Massachusetts way; 
but, just for the fun of the thing, they tried 
the new rules to see how they worked and, 
behold! the whole nine proved to be in 
the receptive condition above alluded to, 
and were promptly infected with the new 
germ, so that the New York game was 
adopted forthwith, and their conversion 
was of great assistance to the cause, as 
they were one of the leading clubs in New 
England until 1863, when they disbanded. 

They played but one game in this, their 
first season, which was with the Tri- 
Mountains, beating them 32 to 26. 

As it will interest some of the old-timers 
to know who played in this game, the 
names are herewith given : The Bowdoin 
Club was John Lowell, catcher; Archibald, 
pitcher ; Albert Crosby, first base ; Sawyer, 
second base ; Crowley, third base ; Harry 
Gill, short-stop; Gardner, right field; 



144 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

Leach, centre field ; and Harry Forbush, 
left field. 

Tri-Mountains : Ben Guild, catcher ; 
Saltzman, pitcher ; Dinsmore, first base ; 
Coe, second base ; Bigelow, third base ; 
Arnold, short-stop; Chandler, right field; 
Fletcher, left field ; Lyons, centre field. 

This is not intended in any way to be 
a history of baseball in New England; I 
am only striving to give some of the more 
salient features of its progress amongst us 
which came under my own observation, 
and to relate a few of my own personal 
experiences and those of the club with 
which I played. Consequently, the Lowell 
Club will of necessity stand out promi- 
nently in the following pages, which fact 
I trust will be pardoned by the reader. 

The return game between the Tri- 
Mountains and Bowdoins was played on 
the Common September 22, i860, when 
the latter again won, 36 to 19. 

In 1 86 1 the Civil War cloud burst and 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 145 

many baseball plans were disarranged 
thereby, some of the players enlisting upon 
the first call for troops; and during the 
war's progress upwards of fifty members 
of Boston clubs were to be found in Uncle 
Sam's ranks. 

Before this time many of us boys had 
been allowed occasionally to take a hand 
in the Tri-Mountains' or Bowdoins' games, 
and were found to be ready converts to 
the new style of playing, our previous 
training, of course, proving of great ser- 
vice to us. 

Our aptness was quickly recognized by 
the seniors, and one evening Mr. Horace 
Chandler, one of the Bowdoins, and son of 
the late Hon. Peleg W. Chandler, called 
at my house and said that he did so at the 
request of John Lowell, who, with himself 
and others, thought it most desirable that 
a junior club be formed, as the material 
promised well, etc., etc. 

The result was that I and several others 



146 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

went at once to work and procured enough 
names without any difficulty. In fact, no- 
body, as far as I can remember, refused. 

We held the first meeting at John A. 
Lowell's office, then on the corner of Sum- 
mer and Washington streets, over Shreve, 
Crump & Low's jewelry store, and elected 
the following officers : President, George G. 
Richards; Vice-President, Samuel Brad- 
street, Jr.; Secretary, George S. B. Sulli- 
van ; Treasurer, William French ; Direc- 
tors, Marsh P. Stafford, George B. Wilder, 
and J. D'W. Lovett. 

The club was named in honor of Mr. 
Lowell, then President of the Bowdoins, 
and who had most kindly encouraged us 
in every way. The Bowdoins gave us a 
good send-off by voting us a full set of 
implements, and we went at it with a will. 
This was in March, i86i,and by the next 
October we tried our wings in a game 
with the Medford Club at Medford. There 
was a good-sized crowd to see our maiden 




< 

CO 

w 

< 

.J 

W 

o 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 147 

effort, as we had lots of friends who anti- 
cipated for us a fair chance to win from 
the senior club. 

The result was entirely satisfactory to 
us, we winning, 17 to 10; and as some of 
our old friends may like to know what 
was said of us in our first match, I take 
the liberty of quoting from the report as 
it appeared in the paper next day. 

" On the 1 6th inst. a very exciting match 
of baseball between the Lowell Club of 
Boston and the Medford Club of Medford 
was played on the grounds of the latter. 
This being the debut of the Lowells 
(which, by the way, is a junior club), called 
out quite a concourse of the friends of 
both parties. Miller's pitching on the 
Lowell side was swift and to the mark, and 
the way he generaled the game does good 
credit to himself and his club. Wilder, as 
catcher, was very effective and marked his 
play by some difficult catches of foul balls ; 
one in particular, a left-hand catch on the 



148 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

fly. Lovett's short was brilliant through- 
out, he not missing a single stop or throw 
to the bases, and his backing up of the 
bases was a specimen of good fielding. 
Adams held with vice-like grip every ball 
that was passed to him. Joslin's second 
was well attended to, as was also the third. 
In the outfield some tall fielding was done 
by Hawes and Richards; Fuller, as is 
quite unusual, not having anything to do, 
owing to Miller's swift pitching. 

"Of the Medfords, Rapp, as short, al- 
though the position was new to him, did 
good execution ; Clark pitched in a 
steady manner and watched the bases 
well. Banker 1 is a cool player and his 
score of no outs and three runs looked 
well for his side. Burbank played his sec- 
ond in good shape, but was very unfortu- 
nate at the bat. Another season the senior 
clubs will have to look out for their laurels, 

1 He afterwards played first base upon the Class of 
'66 team at Harvard. 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 149 

for such fielding as was shown by the 
Lowells seldom occurs." 

Thus were we fairly launched upon a 
career which continued for nearly twelve 
years. 

In looking back over this period it seems 
evident to me that it would have been for 
the best interests of the club to have dis- 
banded either in the spring or fall of 1869, 
when it was at its best ; for, although we 
afterwards won games occasionally, still, as 
I shall later on endeavor to show, for good 
and sufficient reasons and through no fault 
of ours, '70, '71, and '72 were regrettable 
years to the original members and their 
friends, and would much better have been 
forestalled by non-existence of the club. 

The season of 1862 opened with bright 
prospects for us, and in June we played 
our second match, this time with the Bow- 
doins, who beat us 23 to 14. 

On July 10 the Excelsiors of New York 



150 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

arrived in Boston. They were in their 
prime at this time, and, being the first 
New York club to visit Boston, created 
much excitement Their nine consisted of 
Young, Russell, Pearsall, Polhemus, Brain- 
ard, Flanley, Creighton, Cook, and Leg- 
gett. Ball players from all parts of New 
England came to see them play, and our 
eyes were opened to many things. 

They beat the Bowdoins 41 to 1 5. Much 
good-natured chaff was passed back and 
forth between John Lowell and Joe Leg- 
gett in this game, which made fun for every- 
body. Once when the latter was at the bat, 
he motioned to John, who was then playing 
centre field, to go back a little further; 
John backed off about ten feet, upon which 
Leggett sung out, "A little further, still, 
John," and the latter, laughing, backed 
away another ten feet, whereupon Leggett 
struck a ball and sent it flying over John's 
head for a home run, amidst shouts of 
laughter from the crowd. 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 151 

It was certainly a privilege to have seen 
Jim Creighton pitch and Joe Leggett catch 
him. Creighton was at this time but six- 
teen years old ! And yet nobody had ever 
approached him in speed and accuracy of 
delivery. He was equally popular in cricket 
and baseball. He died at the age of twenty 
one years, mourned by the entire athletic 
community. He went through an entire 
season without making a single out, — a 
feat nobody has ever accomplished before 
or since, to my knowledge. The Excelsiors 
erected a fine monument to his memory, 
and he is to-day spoken of as the " lamented 
Creighton." 

Creighton had a great influence upon 
my success as a pitcher. I noted him very 
carefully and found that his speed was not 
due to mere physical strength, but that 
this latter was supplemented by a very long 
arm and a peculiar wrist movement, very 
quick and " snappy " — so much so that he 
was accused of underhand throwing, as I 



152 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

was, afterwards; and I have only to say 
that if a throw can be accomplished with a 
perfectly rigid elbow-joint, then he and I 
were both guilty ; but a throw was never 
proven and neither of us was ever ruled 
out. 

However, as I have said, I studied his 
style very carefully and acquired as well as 
I could (a very poor copy, by the way) his 
effective wrist movement. Later on, when 
the rules compelled the pitcher to deliver 
the ball with both feet planted firmly upon 
the ground, I found this movement of great 
assistance in getting a good pace on the 
ball. 

On the next day, July n, 1862, the Ex- 
celsiors played a picked nine, composed 
of four Tri-Mountains — Chandler, Saltz- 
man, Troupe, and Arnold — and five Low- 
ells, — Miller, Wilder, Joslin, Adams, and 
myself. We were beaten 39 to 13. 

In this game Joslin's playing at left field 
was mentioned as a " feature of the game ; " 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 153 

and Chandler, Miller, and I had the honor 
of making a home run apiece off Creighton. 

Moses E. Chandler, mentioned here, has 
always been a lover of clean and healthy 
sport. In 1867 he presented to the New 
England Baseball Association a beautiful 
silver-mounted bat made of six pieces of 
wood, each of which possessed historic 
value. 

Mr. Chandler had also the distinction 
of being the first ball player in New Eng- 
land who, when running the bases, made 
a " dive " for one of them. This happened 
in 1859 in Portland, Maine, in a match 
between the Tri-Mountains and Portlands, 
and the feat fairly astonished the natives, 
who at first roared with laughter; but Chan- 
dler scored the run> and they then woke up 
to the fact that a large, new, and valuable 
" wrinkle " had been handed out to them. 

About this time we lent our aid to the 
Class of '66 in organizing the first club 
at Harvard under the New York rules. 



154 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

We helped them lay out their grounds on 
Cambridge Common, near the Washing- 
ton Elm, and several of us used frequently 
to go out and teach them what we knew of 
the game. 

The prime movers in starting this game 
at Harvard were George Flagg, Frank 
Wright, Arthur Hunnewell, Tom Nelson, 
Eugene Greenleaf, Frank Harris, now the 
well-known veteran Medical Examiner, 
Ned Sprague, George Parker, Putnam 
Abercrombie, Charlie Fiske, and others. 

Thus was the pioneer Baseball Club of 
Harvard College duly organized, and a lit- 
tle later on the Nine appeared in a uniform 
of gray flannel, with a large Old English 
" H " worked in magenta upon the front of 
the shirt. It was a very neat and attrac- 
tive suit ; but why a magenta " H " instead 
of the time-honored crimson ? 

This query involves an interesting bit of 
College history, which seems to be but lit- 
tle known to-day, and it will interest many 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 155 

to read the following graphic account of 
how the substitution came about, written 
for the " Harvard Bulletin " by the late 
Frank Wright, captain and pitcher of this 
Nine. Wright says : — 

I take pleasure in giving you a bit of ancient 
history regarding the change in the colors of 
Harvard from crimson to magenta, the history 
of which has never been written. 

We have all heard that Rome was saved by the 
cackling of geese, but few, only the very select 
few who were honored by the ministration of 
Dr. Peabody during the middle 6o's, know that 
the Harvard colors were changed from crimson 
to magenta by an obscure Boston seamstress, 
and that magenta remained the color of Harvard 
for eight years. 

The change of the Harvard color is interwo- 
ven with the origin of baseball at Harvard, and I 
must account for them both in the same breath. 

One afternoon in March of 1863 a classmate 
of mine, during Professor Lane's Latin recitation, 
passed a slip of paper to me asking if I would 
help him in starting a baseball club. We had 



156 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

talked of this before, and I adopted the sugges- 
tion and wrote upon a slip of paper and passed 
it round, asking the fellows to meet in Flagg's 
room in Stoughton at eight that evening and 
form a baseball club. After the recitation the 
hint was given out to men of other divisions, 
and the result was that the room was well-filled 
at the appointed hour. An organization was 
effected without much delay, and the question 
of the kind of baseball was discussed. A major- 
ity of the fellows wished to form a club to play 
Massachusetts baseball, which was then in 
vogue, a game slightly improved upon town ball, 
which was an improvement upon the old English 
game of rounders, but a few of us who hailed from 
New York state carried the meeting in favor of 
the new game, then called the " Brooklyn " game. 
A committee of two was appointed, consisting 
of George A. Flagg and myself, to arrange the 
preliminaries and to suggest a uniform. Flagg 
and I went to Boston the following day, and 
under the guidance of John A. Lowell, the pre- 
sident of the Lowell Baseball Club of Boston, 
went to Hovey's in Summer Street to select 
cloth for a uniform. At that time all the base- 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 157 

ball clubs wore a fierce, fireman-like uniform of 
red or blue flannel shirts with any kind of trou- 
sers and a gaudy leather belt. We decided to 
try some quiet color and selected a gray French 
flannel, to be trimmed with crimson, with a 
crimson " H " to be embroidered upon the shirt 
front. We bought flannel enough for one shirt, 
and it was decided that I was " to bell the cat " 
and have the first shirt made for me. Mr. Lowell 
steered me to a seamstress in Essex Street, who 
made uniforms for his club, and she took the 
order for a shirt to be embroidered with an old 
English "H " in crimson. When the shirt was 
sent to me a note came from the seamstress that 
she had taken the liberty to embroider my " H " 
in magenta instead of crimson, as magenta was 
much more fashionable and much prettier than 
crimson. I was of course disgusted, but the 
shirt was there and the magenta " H " looked 
fine. I called a meeting of the club and appeared 
in my outfit. 

Everyone liked the shirt and the color, and it 
was decided to adopt it. The crew could wear 
crimson if they liked, but the baseball color 
should be magenta. 



158 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

A nine was selected, uniforms were made, 
and we played a game with the old Tri-Moun- 
tain Club of Boston, which resulted in an easy 
win for us. We then arranged a match with the 
Brown University Club and went to Providence 
for the game and won easily. Our success at- 
tracted the attention of the college, our girl 
friends began to wear our magenta colors, and 
by the time the boat-races were on at Worces- 
ter, magenta was talked of as the Harvard color. 
In those days the crew rowed in the " buff," 
but with crimson silk handkerchiefs about their 
heads. When Horatio Curtis of '65 and his crew 
appeared on Lake Quinsigamond with magenta 
handkerchiefs, magenta as Harvard's color was 
established. 

Frank Wright, '66. 



CHAPTER XV 



IN 1863 there was a little more activity 
among the clubs, but the war kept 
down anything like a furor. The Bow- 
doins disbanded in this year, having been 
foremost among the New England clubs 
for four years and sustaining but two de- 
feats, — by the Pioneers of Springfield and 
the Excelsiors. 

On May 29 we beat the Tri-Mountains 
by the score of 37 to 1, and, to use the 
words of a report of the game next day, 
" we doubt the ability of either club to do 
the like again." (This score was duplicated 
by the Eckfords in 1868 against the 
Uniques.) 

In 1864 John A. Lowell, with his well- 
known generosity, public spirit, and kindly 



160 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

intentions, presented a silver ball to be 
played for, thinking that by this means a 
greater number of crack clubs would be 
brought together in friendly rivalry and 
thus the best interests of the game would 
be greatly advanced. 

This no doubt is as it ought to have 
been and would have been under normal 
conditions ; but unforeseen circumstances 
arose which led to contentions; and the 
end sought for by the donor was frus- 
trated, and in 1867 it was deemed advisable 
to withdraw the trophy from the field. 

The records of seventeen match games 
were beautifully engraved upon this ball, 
and it should undoubtedly have been pre- 
served in some museum ; but instead, it 
was injudiciously voted by the Committee 
of the Association that it should be de- 
stroyed^ which vote was forthwith carried 
into effect. 

On July 9 of this year, before the silver 
ball had appeared, we played our first match 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 161 

with the Harvards (Class of '66 team), de- 
feating them 55 to 25. This game was won 
by heavy batting, Miller, Alline, and I each 
making one out and eight runs. The re- 
port of the game gives Joslin the credit of 
making " the most beautiful one hand catch 
at left field which we have ever witnessed," 
and adds, " it does one good to see such 
fielders as Joslin and Alline play." 

On September 27, 1864, the first game 
for the silver ball was played by the Tri- 
Mountains and the Osceolas of Portland, 
Maine, the former winning by the score 
of 53 to 18, and on October 4 we won it 
from the Tri-Mountains, 33 to 18. 

On October 18 the Hampshires of 
Northampton came to Boston to " lift " the 
silver ball ; but, like more recent attempts 
to " lift " things, it proved a bit too heavy 
for them, and we retained it after a game 
of 8^ to 10. The next year, 1865, on July 
15, the Harvards, wanting to have a finger 
in the championship pie, came for us with 



1 6a OLD BOSTON BOYS 

such good effect that the ball took a horse- 
car for Cambridge that evening amid great 
rejoicings. This, our first real defeat, 
coming just before our departure for a 
New York trip, was a little discomposing ; 
but no doubt it was good medicine and 
taught us that there were " others." So we 
took the dose and lay low until after the 
College vacation, hoping for better luck 
next time. On July 18 we started for New 
York to play the Resolutes, Atlantics, and 
Excelsiors. 

The Resolutes beat us 33 to 14. The 
Atlantics, helped by a stupid decision of 
the umpire, which cost us thirteen runs, 
beat us 45 to 17, and the Excelsiors made 
39 to our 31. 

I quote from an account of this last 
game, which shows that the Lowells made 
a pretty good impression in spite of the 
scores against them : — 

" The batting in the last four innings on 
both sides was really excellent ; indeed, no 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 163 

better has been seen on the grounds this 
season. Jewell (of the Excelsiors) obtained 
two home runs in one inning, by splendid 
hits to long field, and Fletcher, Brainard, 
and Flanley also marked their batting by 
similar runs. Lovett, of the Lowells, also 
secured two home runs, his score being 
the best on either side, in any of the three 
games, by six runs, no outs, besides being 
left three times on bases, he making his 
base by his hits no less than nine times. 
In batting, in the whole series of games 
Lovett is first, Miller second, and Joslin 
third. In fly catching, out of 33 catches 
Alline took 8, taking the lead, Lovett 7, 
Lowell 5, Joslin 5, Wilder 3, and G. Miller, 
Adams, and Sumner 2 each. G. Miller 
deserves warm praise for his fine play 
in his position (pitcher), and seemed as 
fresh at the conclusion of the game as 
on the first day's play. Lovett is certainly 
a splendid player and gives great pro- 
mise of rivaling the very best short-stops. 



164 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

Lowell's catching was first-class in every 
respect. Adams is an Ai player at first 
base, and Sumner a very effective man for 
second base; and three finer outfielders 
than Joslin, Alline, and Wilder, the two 
former especially, it would be difficult to 
obtain outside of our very strongest clubs." 

Favorable comment was also made in 
the report upon our " deportment ! " and 
in this respect we were held up as an ex- 
ample to all other clubs, at which we all, 
no doubt, blushed with pleasure and be- 
coming modesty. 

Physically, also, they sized us up pretty 
accurately, describing us as " exceedingly 
young and light-built men, their average 
ages being 19, and their average weight 
only reaching 130 pounds." 

In the Atlantic game John Lowell 
brought down the house by stealing a base 
on " Dicky " Pearce, who was catching. 
Pearce had a habit of leisurely rolling the 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 165 

ball back to the pitcher; John had just 
made his first base and at once " caught 
on " to this trick of Pearce's, so as soon 
as the latter started to roll the ball, away 
went John, safely reaching second, amidst 
much laughter and applause. 

This trip was memorable in that it 
brought us in contact with the late Morti- 
mer Rogers, who met us upon our arrival 
at the station, and instantly won the es- 
teem, friendship, and regard of us all. 
This feeling deepened and strengthened 
as years went by. Eventually he played 
with the Lowells, and later still made Bos- 
ton his home. 

As an outfielder, Mort. was ahead of his 
time, and to-day there is no player who can 
run in to a swiftly batted liner and pick it 
up within six inches of the ground better 
than he could; and those players who can 
do it at all to-day are not any too numer- 
ous. Long, high hits, which are caught 
with one hand, or taken over the shoulder, 



166 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

the fielder running with the ball, are more 
showy and appeal to the " gallery ; " but 
every real player knows that the true test 
of a fielder lies in his ability to take the 
low flies while running into them at full 
speed. 

And here just a word about the up-to- 
date outfielding where a padded contriv- 
ance, like a huge mitten, is worn upon 
one hand. These mittens measure about 
ten inches in length and the same in 
breadth, with a hollow in the palm wherein 
the ball fits like a " baby in a basket." 

What credit is there in catching a ball 
in such a trap ? True, it protects the fin- 
gers of a high-priced player, and he must 
exercise judgment in timing the ball and 
getting under it ; but there all skill ceases. 

I have seen an outfielder jump into the 
air and stop a ball with this invention 
which he could not possibly have touched 
with his bare hand, thereby just as surely 
robbing the batter of a fairly earned two 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 167 

or three base hit, perhaps a home run, as 
if he had held up a plank and intercepted 
the ball with it. 

There is no more call for this mitten in 
the outfield to-day than there was forty 
years ago, as balls are batted there no 
of tener, no harder, and no farther. The 
average bare hand covers an area of some 
thirty-one or thirty-two square inches, 
whereas this mitten covers one hundred ! 
And the thumb, clear to its tip, is con- 
nected with the body of the mitten by a 
gore-shaped web or membrane, like that in 
a duck's foot, so that the ball cannot pos- 
sibly be forced through this opening. O 
tempora, O mores ! 



CHAPTER XVI 



ON September 25, 1865, we played 
the Atlantics of New York, then 
champions of America, on Boston 
Common. They had not been defeated for 
two years, and therefore attracted a very 
large crowd, as may be supposed. 

We gave them a pretty good game, but 
they beat us 30 to 10. The famous Joe 
Start, of first base fame, played on this 
team, and also Frank Norton, the finest 
catcher of his day. Thirty-nine years after 
this game, during which interval we had 
not met, a rather stout, full- whiskered, gray- 
haired man of about — well, never mind 
the age — called at my office and greeted 
me with, " Hello, Jim." I looked him over 
and had to acknowledge that he had the 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 169 

drop on me. He laughed and wondered if 
I remembered Frank Norton and I thought 
of the graceful, brilliant young fellow as I 
had last seen him. I think he was fully as 
surprised as I was at the changes which 
time had wrought upon its victims. 

The next day the Tri-Mountains were 
beaten by the Atlantics, 107 to 16; and 
on the 27th the Harvards engaged them 
and came off with a score of 22 to the 
Atlantics' 58. This game of ours with the 
Atlantics was a memorable one, it being 
the last in which our captain, pitcher, and 
all-round most reliable man, Gat Miller, 
made his appearance upon the Lowell 
team for several years. 

He had entered Harvard College, and 
in the natural course of events would have 
played with them against us in the game 
for the championship, which was to take 
place in five days, on September 30; but 
Gat was " true blue " and would not resign 
as a Lowell man and consequently could 



i 7 o OLD BOSTON BOYS 

not play against his old nine; and it should 
be said, on the other hand, that he was 
equally loyal to his college, and never 
would play with us against it. 

He was so popular with both parties that 
he was unanimously invited to umpire this 
game, and although it was a trying posi- 
tion, he fulfilled the duties to the perfect 
satisfaction of both sides. We had, of 
course, for some time been anticipating 
Miller's leaving us, and I had been at work 
practicing to fill his position as well as I 
could. 

I had never before pitched in a match 
game, and I think that the rest of the team, 
and our friends generally, had many large- 
sized misgivings about the as yet untried 
man in so important a. game ; but I felt 
eager to get into it and see what I could 
do, and the result after all was not so bad, 
as we beat them 40 to 37. This gave us 
the championship once more ; but our 
possession of it was short-lived, as the 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 171 

Harvards, with their indomitable gameness, 
wanting to winter the silver ball in Cam- 
bridge if possible, asked for one more game. 

In the mean time I was disabled and 
was unable to play. Jim Burton, however, 
took my place and no doubt batted better 
than I should have done, his score being 
one out and five runs. The college boys, 
however, struck a batting streak and 
knocked out 73 runs to our 37. 

There occurred in this game a most 
remarkable hit made by Tom Nelson, 
which is to-day often referred to as " Nel- 
son's great strike." 

There was a high west wind blowing 
during the game and Tom caught the ball 
square on the nose with the full swing of 
his great strength and away it soared, truly, 
upon the wings of the wind. Over the Flag- 
staff hill it flew and bounded down the 
other side, in the direction of West Street. 
There are numerous legends extant as to 
where it was finally picked up. 



172 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

One was that it was stopped while try- 
ing to get through West Street gate. An- 
other, that it went down West Street, 
bounced aboard a passing horse-car and 
went out to the Norfolk House. 

As I was confined at home, I do not 
know anything about it, but anyway Nel- 
son wandered around the bases, and then 
" waited patiently about until it did appear," 
and often laughed about it in after years. 

Speaking of long strikes reminds me of 
one which I once made where the ball was 
never heard from afterwards. It gives one 
a queer sensation to bat a ball up into the 
air and never see it again, yet that is what 
happened upon this occasion. I was bat- 
ting up to the boys one afternoon, and the 
ball, when thrown back to me, rolled on to 
Beacon Street Mall. I picked it up and 
batted it from there. It went straight up 
into the thickly leaved trees. I do not re- 
member hearing it make any sound, and 
never saw it again. Whether it wedged 





THOMAS NELSON 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 173 

itself into a fork, plumped into a hole, or 
imbedded itself in a limb, like the cannon- 
ball in the old Brattle Street Church, I 
cannot say. 

Another afternoon, while I was again 
batting to the outfield, Mr. Francis Gard- 
ner, Master of the Public Latin School, 
came along the Spruce Street path and 
stood watching me a while. Presently, he 
approached and said, " Lovett, I hear that 
you can put a ball about where you like; 
can you send it down to Hawes " (pointing 
to Henry Hawes, down in the long field), 
11 so that he won't have to move out of his 
tracks for it ? " 

Now, if Mr. Gardner had asked me to 
give him a list of the twenty-six preposi- 
tions (or was it a hundred and twenty-six ?) 
followed by the accusative, I should prob- 
ably have balked ; but I was now on my 
own quarter-deck and so answered with 
brazen assurance that I thought I could. 

" Let her go, then," he said, and I accord- 



i 7 4 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

ingly let her go, and knew, the instant the 
ball left the bat, that it was going true. 

Sure enough, Henry never moved an 
inch and took it about breast high, upon 
which Mr. Gardner chuckled once or twice 
to himself and went on his way without 
another word. 

That Mr. Gardner was a rugged, stern 
man is well known, but that he was pos- 
sessed of a most kind heart and gentle 
ways when occasion called for them is not 
so generally recognized. 

At recess one day he called up and was 
questioning a very frail and delicate look- 
ing fellow, named Loring, about a lesson 
in which he had failed badly. Under Mr. 
Gardner's stern eye he completely broke 
down, and throwing his arms about the 
strong man's neck, hid his face upon his 
shoulder and sobbed passionately. 

The really sweet and tender way in which 
Mr. Gardner comforted that little fellow, 
the gentleness with which he stroked the 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 175 

little head with his big hand, and finally 
brought back the smiles to his face, was 
a revelation to those of us who were pre- 
sent. 



CHAPTER XVII 



MARCH 26, 1866, the Lowells 
leased a club-room on the cor- 
ner of West and Mason streets, 
and for five or six years enjoyed it, sum- 
mer and winter. Curiously enough, over 
one of the windows of these rooms was 
a carved " L," and " 1861," the date of our 
organization. 

We had two fine pianists in Ned Har- 
low and Jim Hovey, a vocal quartette was 
formed, dancing parties were given, and 
the Lowell Club was at its zenith. 

I am sure that Clude Belches will agree 
with me when I state that the rendering 
of the " Larboard Watch," by two promi- 
nent members has never been duplicated. 

John Lowell's inimitable character 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 177 

sketches, together with songs and stories, 
were always a source of pleasure, and, 
what with boxing and social enjoyments 
of all kinds, the winter months sped rap- 
idly in those far-off days. 

On June 2, 1866, we met the Flyaways 
of East Boston, and for four hours ran 
around the bases, making one hundred 
and twenty-one runs to fourteen. We went 
to Portland on July 4 and played the Eons, 
whom we beat 33 to 23, upon a park a 
mile or so outside the city limits. While 
playing we could see that there was a good- 
sized fire raging in the city, and when we 
returned thither found ourselves in the 
midst of the " big Portland fire." 

We had intended returning home that 
evening, but stayed and worked nearly all 
night in assisting to save the jewelry stock 
of Messrs. Lowell & Senter, who very 
handsomely acknowledged our efforts in 
the newspapers. 

On July 14 we again tackled Harvard 



178 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

for the championship, and once more won 
it, this time by the score of 37 to 27. 1 

In this game it seemed as if the "fickle 
goddess," a little disturbed in her mind 
for having so heartlessly abandoned us in 
the last one (73 to 37), had thought the 
matter over and concluded to square her- 
self with the Lowell boys. Accordingly, 
she graciously lent us her aid, which re- 
sulted in our winning by the above score ; 
and she, also thinking, no doubt, that it 
was but fair that Nelson's great strike in 
that game should be offset by something 
similar in this one, decreed that one of the 
Lowells should make a catch to keep the 
strike company. That Her Royal Fickle- 
ness booked me for this honor was doubt- 
less due to the fact that my position as 

1 It is curious to note in how many of the Lowell- 
Harvard matches the total score on one side or the other 
was either a multiple of seven, or else a number in which 
the figure seven appeared ; thus, 28 appears five times ; 
37, four times; 27, three times ; 14, 17, 21, and 73, once 
each. 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 179 

pitcher being nearest the batter, possessed 
possibilities which the other positions 
lacked. Be that as it may, Ames was at 
the bat and I pitched him a ball which he 
struck with such force that, before any eye 
in the crowd could mark its flight, it had 
returned to my hand as the latter was in 
the act of swinging back after delivery, and 
was caught without requiring any extra- 
neous movement upon my part to indicate 
the fact, so that not a soul excepting Ames 
and myself knew what had become of it. 
This circumstance, however, did not occur 
to me until after I had stood a moment 
or two, expecting to hear the Lowell yell. 
But not a sound came ; and then instantly 
it dawned upon me that nobody knew that 
I had caught the ball. My position was a 
peculiar one, and I do not know how long 
the deception could have been sustained ; 
but I had to do something, so I tossed the 
ball into the air, whereupon everybody at 
once " caught on," and the yell came. 



180 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

Indeed, tiny, faint echoes of this applause 
have filtered down through the forty inter- 
vening years, and I am, to-day, often asked 
questions about this catch by persons who 
are utter strangers to me. I have actually 
been asked, " Did you see it coming ? " 
" Did you know you had caught it ? " 
" Was n't your first impulse to dodge it ? " 
etc., etc. 

I am giving this matter much more space 
and prominence than it deserves; but I 
have been asked to set forth the incident 
as it really occurred, as many people saw 
and remember it, and it has been sug- 
gested that they might be interested in 
hearing the facts at first hand. I will only 
add, simply as a matter of record, that 
upon four later occasions, I repeated this 
catch, but in none of these latter was the 
velocity approached with which Ames 
drove the ball at me. 

It has always been a feather in the 
Lowell cap to have had Ames (now Dean 




Drawn bv C. D. Gibson 



THERE WERE " FANS " IN THOSE DAYS 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 181 

of the Harvard Law School), upon its nine 
for about a year before he entered college, 
as his ability as captain of the 'Varsity 
team, his coolness and good judgment at 
critical moments, his ever alert fielding as 
second baseman, and his superior batting 
placed him easily in the front rank of ball 
players. 



CHAPTER XVIII 



ON July 25, 1866, in a match with 
the Phillips Academy nine, from 
Andover, we had the pleasure of 
making the acquaintance of that model 
catcher and universal favorite, the late 
Archie Bush. 

Later on he entered Harvard and suc- 
ceeded George Flagg, whose fine, plucky 
catching and brilliant base running made 
him famous during the four years in which 
he wore the gray and magenta. 

We won this game only after a sharp 

« 

fight, by the score of 32 to 20. 

Like all winners we had lots of friends 
at this time, from the street gamins up to 
the " Chairman of the Committee on Com- 
mons and Squares," who very kindly issued 




< 

M 
W 

Q 

< 
> 

< 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 183 

to us a permit for two or three consecu- 
tive years, granting to us the " use of the 
grounds on which they usually play, on 
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, in 
the afternoon, on the Common, to the ex- 
clusion of others." They also detailed a 
squad of policemen to guard the ropes dur- 
ing match games. These policemen were 
all good Lowell partisans, as the following 
incident will show. 

Just before game was called with the 
Phillips Academy nine, a friend of mine 
overheard two men, evidently strangers 
who had come to Boston to see the game, 
discussing the probable result, one saying 
that he " guessed the Lowells would get 
beaten this time all right," when a police- 
man who stood within earshot of the re- 
mark instantly turned, gave him a wither- 
ing look of scorn, and quietly said, " You 
talk like a damn fool." 

It was while this game was in progress 
that Fred Nazro, ever loyal and true, lost 



184 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

a good hat but gained a halo in exchange, 
which metaphorically speaking, he has 
worn ever since. 

It was like this. At the end of the fifth 
innings the Academy boys stood 18 to our 
1 6 and were playing a winning game. In 
the sixth, we made a rally, knocked out ten 
runs and gave them a goose egg, and at 
this point the non-playing boys went wild. 
Fred, who was frantically waving aloft his 
hat, all unconscious of the damage that 
was being wrought, finally shook the crown 
free from the rim and continued to wave 
this accidently created halo, not noticing 
anything wrong, until it slipped down over 
his head when he tried to put his hat on. 

We played two more games that fall 
for the championship : one, on September 
15, with the King Phillips of East Ab- 
ington, which we won by 75 to 1 7, and the 
other on September 29, with the Granites 
of Holliston, which we also won by 47 to 
11. 




Alline Joslin Lowell Page Fuller 

Burton Crosby Gardner Sumner Lovett (Capt.) Wilder 




Lovett (Capt.) Jewell Newton Rogers Alline 

Hawes Joslin Sumner Bradbury 




Dennison King Lang Simmons 

Perkins Rice Lang Appleton 



LOWELL BASEBALL CLUB AND " ROOTERS " 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 185 

In the King Phillip match Sumner car- 
ried off the honors in fielding, the report 
of the game describing his play at second 
base as " the best he ever made and the 
best we recollect ever having seen in that 
position, not even excepting Crane" (of the 
champion Atlantics). 

In the Granite match Mort. Rogers made 
his first appearance upon the Lowell nine, 
and proved to be a most valuable acquisi- 
tion to our outfield, he playing centre. 

In the spring of 1867 the Harvard boys, 
thinking no doubt that the silver ball was 
growing dull from too long exposure to 
the Boston east winds, and that it needed 
a change of air, determined to take it a 
few miles further inland, if possible, and 
" brighten it up a bit," and, incidentally, 
polish off the Lowells at the same time. 

Accordingly they sent us an invitation 
to play a series of match games, " best two 
out of three," for the championship. This 
was something new, as heretofore one 



186 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

game had decided the question, thereby 
saving much valuable time. We therefore 
notified them of our acceptance of their 
challenge, and also expressed our prefer- 
ence that, if agreeable to them, one game 
should settle the matter. To this they re- 
plied that the conditions were agreeable 
(as to the time, place, etc.), but that they 
preferred that the terms should be best 
two out of three, as originally proposed. 
Not caring to prolong the question, we ac- 
quiesced and at once made arrangements 
for the series, the first of which was played 
May 15, on the Common, where we won 
by a score of 37 to 28. 

The second game was played on May 
24, on Jarvis Field, Cambridge ; this time 
the Harvards winning by 32 to 26. 

The third and deciding game was played 
on a potato patch (I wish I could call it 
a ball ground), in Medford, where we were 
again beaten, this time by the score of 39 
to 28. In this game Bob Shaw of the Har- 




James D'Wolf Lovett 





M. Mortimer Rogers 



John A. Lowell 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 187 

vards gave us a touch of his quality at first 
base, which one rarely sees equaled and 
never excelled by either amateur or pro- 
fessional. He made five fly catches and 
assisted in disposing of fifteen base run- 
ners, thus being instrumental in capturing 
twenty of the twenty-seven outs, and with- 
out an error! 

On June 17 the celebrated Athletics of 
Philadelphia visited Boston, and on that 
date defeated the Eons of Portland, on the 
Common, 8& to 22. The next day the 
Harvards gave them a splendid game, but 
were beaten by a score of 22 to 10, the 
Athletics winning only by their heavy bat- 
ting. The fielding of Harvard was fully 
equal to that of their powerful opponents, 
if not better. 

The next day we played the Philadel- 
phians, and a sort of " dry rot" seemed to 
take possession of the entire Lowell nine. 
We played like beginners and allowed 
them to pile up 53 runs to our 5, in five 



188 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

innings, when a most welcome thunder- 
shower put an end to the fun (?). 

It seems evident that the Golden Rule 
was not intended to be prominent in ath- 
letic contests, where each participant is 
endeavoring to the utmost of his ability to 
do unto the other fellow just what he would 
not have the other fellow do unto him; 
and if A beats B, it seems to be the nat- 
ural thing for B, failing to get back at A, 
to desire to take it out of C, if he can. 

It is therefore tolerably certain that, if 
the Golden Rule ever comes to be univer- 
sally applied, contests of all kinds must 
cease naturally, as the stronger will refrain 
from beating the weaker, the weaker can- 
not beat the stronger, and the result will 
be " nil." 

As the above rule, however, is at present 
limited in its workings, and as the Lowells 
were smarting somewhat from their land- 
slide with the Athletics, and being actuated 
by the praiseworthy desire to " take it out " 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 189 

of somebody else, if possible, they accepted 
with pleasure the kind invitation of the 
Rockinghams of Portsmouth, N. H., to 
visit them. The Lowells went to Ports- 
mouth, met with a hearty reception, and 
relieved their feelings by prancing around 
the bases one hundred and seven times. 

The U. S. Navy was represented in this 
match by Lieutenant Harmony, then on 
duty at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, and 
he fully sustained the reputation which 
the U. S. naval officers have established of 
being " jolly good fellows," for he was the 
life of the game. Here 's hoping that his 
voyage through life has been a calm and 
prosperous one. 

The green curtain was rung down on 
the silver ball in September, 1867, after 
we had lost it to the Tri-Mountains in a 
series of three games, we winning the first 
one 20 to 16, and they the other two, 40 
to 35 and 42 to 22. In the second of these 
games we once more had the pleasure of 



i 9 o OLD BOSTON BOYS 

having Gat Miller on the team, in his old 
position as pitcher; and once again and 
for the last time did we have his valuable 
and ever-welcome assistance on October 
4, 1867, when we had the honor of being 
the first New England club that ever de- 
feated a prominent New York team. This 
was the Excelsiors of Brooklyn, the same 
who paid us a visit in July, 1862 ; but they 
no longer had a Creighton and Leggett to 
pitch and catch for them, the former hav- 
ing died and the latter having given up 
playing. Still they had the then famous 
Cummings for pitcher. We beat them 29 
to 21, and on the 7th the Harvards repeated 
our performance, only " more so," making 
18 to the Excelsiors' 6. 

After a few preliminary games in the 
spring of 1868, we started on June 9 for a 
tour through some of the New England 
cities in an attempt to be "neighborly." 
The programme was somewhat marred by 
rainy days, and several games had to be 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 191 

omitted ; but it was a most enjoyable out- 
ing nevertheless. 

Fitchburg was our first point, where on 
the 19th we beat the Rollstones, 50 to 14. 
Two days were then lost on account of 
rain, after which in New Haven on the 
1 3th we ran up against the Yales for the 
first time. This was a memorable game 
for us, in that it was the only one of ten 
innings we ever played. At the end of the 
ninth the score stood twelve all, and we 
went in to do or die. I led off at the bat 
and went out ignominiously at first ; but 
luckily there were better men who fol- 
lowed me, and Joslin, Rogers, Sumner, 
and Jewell worked their passage around 
the bases, thus again giving us a lead 
with which the Yale boys were unable to 
cope, they making but one run, the final 
score standing 16 to 13. 

Games of more than nine innings were 
comparatively rare in those days, and 
some of the boys who accompanied us 



192 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

upon this trip nearly died of heart failure 
during the last innings. 

We stayed at New Haven until the 
next evening, when we left for Hartford, 
where, on the 15th, we played the Char- 
ter Oaks, beating them 61 to 12. 

Rain prevented our game with the 
Oceanics of New London, which was 
booked for the 16th, so we left that after- 
noon for Providence, where on the 1 7th of 
June we crossed swords with Brown Uni- 
versity, on the Dexter Training Ground. 
This was to have been the " wind-up " to 
our trip, amid red fire, tom-toms, and the 
rejoicings of a large party of friends who 
came down from Boston to join in our 
apotheosis, but somehow we slipped a 
cog and the programme on the Training 
Ground got twisted, the Browns making 
22 runs to our 19, instead of the other way 
about as was intended. 

Frank Herreshoff, one of the most fa- 
mous athletes who ever went to Brown 



ds 



**a ^ m* 



ft 



-%>-- 



;<->$ 



i"#! 



--""'Cl 






Wi 




r/rc«v 



*»<*• 



V' \7 






>■" 










H 



Itwrd 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 193 

University, pitched against us in this 
game. He is a brother of Nat Herreshoff , 
the famous yacht designer. He and I were 
old friends, and I am glad to say he is 
still living and prosperous. 



CHAPTER XIX 



THIS ending to our trip took the 
sharp edge off the pleasures of 
home-coming, and we laid it up 
against Brown for a year, when, on the 
17th of June, 1869, we went back and bal- 
anced accounts, making 40 to their 13, 
and then felt better. 

I do not know if the present amateur 
clubs make these friendly tours, as was the 
custom in ante-professional days ; but dur- 
ing the years when the championship of 
New England was held by either the Har- 
vards or Lowells, we were treated royally 
wherever we went and enjoyed all the 
pleasures and glory that can be derived 
from ball playing. Private houses were 
open to us, balls were given in our honor, 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 195 

and even cigars were named for us. What 
more could heart desire ? 

The silver ball being out of the way, 
a series of friendly games, best two out of 
three, was now arranged for between the 
Harvards and Lowells, and on July 4, 1868, 
the Magenta and Lowell Blue again locked 
horns. We won, 23 to 20, and the second 
game was played on July 21, the Harvards 
winning by a close margin, 28 to our 27. 
A remarkable feature of the first of these 
two games was that each of the Harvard 
boys made just three outs. Up to that time 
this was, I believe, unprecedented. 

The third game was never played, it 
being postponed until after the college va- 
cation and then dropped as another series 
was arranged for instead. 

These friendly bouts with Harvard were 
always enjoyable, as we were evenly 
matched; the college boys were at all 
times courteous and manly opponents, and 
both teams played upon the dead level, 



196 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

and for every ounce of which they were 
capable. Every scintilla of the feeling 
which had been engendered in the strug- 
gles for the silver ball, and then only by 
partisans and not participated in by the 
players themselves, had been buried and 
replaced by a healthy, virile rivalry, such 
as merely stimulated without intoxicating. 
On October 3, 1868, we played the first 
game of the new series, which was won by 
Harvard, 27 to 24, and on the 9th we re- 
turned the compliment, winning by 33 to 
30. In this game I made my top score, con- 
sisting of no outs and eight runs, earned 
first base six times, made seventeen bases, 
three clean home runs, and one three-base 
hit. I have always been a bit proud of this 
score against such a nine as the Harvards, 
and thus herald it forth with such brazen 
effrontery. I once made a score of no outs, 
fifteen runs, and one home run, in a match 
with the Andersons of Lynn, but this score 
is left lying around loose, while the former 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 197 

is kept wrapped up in a piece of pink tissue 
paper, so to speak. In the third game of 
this series the Harvards again beat us, 
28 to 15, thus closing the season of 1868. 

In the spring of 1869 the Common was 
plowed up, and, being thus deprived of 
all chance to practice, it was right at this 
point, or at least in the fall, that the 
Lowells should have disbanded and grace- 
fully stepped down and out while yet they 
could have done so with a long string of 
victories and but comparatively few de- 
feats for a record. (In the last six years we 
had played ninety-nine games and won 
seventy.) 

It is seldom that baseball has figured in 
politics, but in December, 1869, through 
fear of being permanently deprived of the 
use of the Common as a playground, the 
ball players of Boston decided to take a 
hand in the political game and do what 
they could to help elect a mayor and alder- 
men known to be favorably disposed to- 



198 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

wards athletic sports and who were also 
willing to grant the use of the Common 
as a playground as it had been heretofore. 
Accordingly, on Saturday evening, De- 
cember ii, three days before election, a 
hastily called meeting was held, and on 
Monday, the 13th, the following notice of 
it appeared in the " Boston Herald : " — 

" BASEBALLISTS IN COUNCIL. NOMINATION 
OF A TICKET FOR ALDERMEN. 

" A meeting of gentlemen interested in 
baseball and other outdoor athletic sports 
was held Saturday evening, December 
11, in the Lowell Baseball Club rooms 
to organize for the municipal election. 
Mr. John A. Lowell presided. A com- 
mittee was appointed at a previous meet- 
ing to nominate candidates for Aldermen, 
and reported the following statement, 
which was adopted. 

"'To correct a misunderstanding which 
appears to exist as to the object of this 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 199 

movement, it becomes necessary to state 
that the design is to foster not the game 
of baseball and its interests alone, but out- 
door sports in general as an important 
means of promoting the physical training 
of our youth and consequently the public 
health. The Common has been taken and 
nothing left in its place, and the main ob- 
ject is to select men who will grant our 
youth some spot for recreation. Beyond 
this, it has no object or aim, political or 
otherwise.* After perfecting the organiza- 
tion of rallying committees for each ward 
the meeting adjourned." 

The baseball tickets were distinguished 
by a large red ball printed at the top and 
bore the names of aldermanic candidates 
which had been carefully selected from 
both Republicans and Democrats. In spite 
of the short time at their disposal, for or- 
ganization, printing, etc., the " Red ball 
ticket," as it was known, was hustled 



200 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

through, and upon the 14th, duly appeared 
at the several polling places, where they 
were distributed by enthusiastic volunteers 
who explained to the voters the reasons 
for their existence. 

The idea "took," a large number of 
these ballots were cast, and there is no 
reason to doubt their influence upon the 
election. At all events, the lower end of 
the Common was assigned to the boys 
the following spring, and Mayor Shurtleff, 
who was reelected, personally thanked 
Mr. Lowell, and through him the commit- 
tee, for their efforts. 

In May the Mutuals of New York took 
a trip to Boston and played the Tri-Moun- 
tains, whom they defeated 69 to 1 7. Then 
they played with the Harvards, beating 
them 43 to 11, and wound up with the 
Lowells, who made 21 to the Mutuals' 26, 
in an eight innings game. The paper next 
day said, " The Lowells acquitted them- 
selves nobly in this game with the Mutuals. 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 201 

They outfielded the Mutuals, as these 
themselves acknowledged, and batted in a 
manner that reminded one of old times. 
With practice they may yet regain their 
old position as the foremost club of New 
England." But we could not get the re- 
quisite practice, and old times do not come 
back again. 

Business was now the real and serious 
thing in life for all of us, and neither base- 
ball nor any other game requiring skill, 
mental or physical, can be won upon past 
reputation. This lack of a practice ground 
affected the Tri-Mountains as seriously as 
it did the Lowells, and was sufficient ex- 
cuse for their defeats, as well as ours, by 
country clubs, which a year earlier would 
have been victories. 

On June 10 of this year Boston was 
visited by the renowned Cincinnati " Red 
Stockings," who were then upon their 
phenomenally successful tour. They trav- 
eled from ocean to ocean; played sixty- 



202 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

three games with the strongest clubs in 
the country and won sixty-three straight 
victories. 

As this trip of the " Red Stockings " has 
never been equaled by any professional 
baseball nine, and probably never will be, 
ball players will be interested to see a few 
of its statistics. 

They traveled 11,877 miles, played to 
about 200,000 spectators, and made 2677 
runs against their opponents' 637. They 
made 3323 clean base hits and 169 home 
runs. 

In running the bases, the players trav- 
eled 222 miles. This celebrated nine was 
composed of George Wright, short-stop ; 
Harry Wright, centre field ; Douglas Alli- 
son, catcher ; Fred Waterman, third base ; 
Charlie Gould, first base ; Andy Leonard, 
left field ; Calvin McVey, right field ; Char- 
lie Sweasy, second base; and Asa Brainard, 
pitcher. 

George Wright led the batting, with a 




^v/ 




GEORGE WRIGHT 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 203 

total of 339 runs, 304 base hits, a grand 
total of 614 bases and 49 clean home runs. 
He assisted 179 times and made 82 fly- 
catches out of 86 chances, thus making 
good his title to " King." 

The Lowells ran up against this for- 
midable aggregation on June 10 on the 
lower end of the Parade Ground and scored 
9 runs to the " Reds' " 29. Being laid up 
with a sprained ankle, I had to forego the 
pleasure of playing against this champion 
team. 

On the nth they beat the Tri-Moun- 
tains, 40 to 1 2, and on the 1 2th made 30 
to the Harvards' 1 1. 

Very rarely, if ever, during the next 
two years, did the Lowells play a match 
with their full nine in the field, the vacan- 
cies being filled by inferior men ; and with 
no practice between matches, the result 
was inevitable. The club lost ground, en- 
thusiasm waned, many influential mem- 
bers withdrew to give all their attention to 



204 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

the Boston Club (professional), then just 
forming, and in short the end of amateur 
baseball playing in Boston was near at 
hand. 

Protracted death struggles make nei- 
ther a pleasing picture nor an agreeable 
subject upon which to write, and I do not 
care to parade those of the Lowell Base- 
ball Club. Suffice it to say that for two 
seasons it somehow lingered on in a state 
of atrophy, during which many games 
were presented as gifts to clubs who, a 
little earlier, might have had to whistle for 
them. 

The end came on December 12, 1873, 
when a few of us around a dining-table at 
the Parker House held a coroner's inquest, 
rendered a verdict of death from unavoid- 
able causes, wound up its few remaining 
affairs, and the once famous Lowell Club 
was no more. Requiescat in pace ! 

Both the Tri-Mountains and Lowells 
had good stuff in them, and with the same 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 205 

opportunities for practice which were en- 
joyed by college nines need have feared no 
amateur club of New England for some 
time longer. Probably any promising ball 
player of to-day, of say eighteen years of 
age, has attained a proficiency equal to 
that with which we left off at twenty-five, 
he being born into the atmosphere of the 
national game, weaned and brought up 
on it. 

In closing these gleanings of past years, 
which it has been a pleasure to collect and 
present to those who care to read them, I 
should be remiss if I neglected to mention 
the valuable services of George B. Apple- 
ton, for many years scorer for the Lowells. 
He accompanied us upon nearly all our 
trips, and in victory or defeat was always 
genial, optimistic, and light-hearted, — 
qualities which have won for him so many 
friends through life. 

It is rather a curious fact, and one to 
which I called attention a few years ago, 



206 OLD BOSTON BOYS 

that the surnames of nineteen Lowells 
who, first and last, played upon the first 
nine, were composed of six letters. Follow- 
ing is a list of them : — 

Alline, Arnold, Briggs, Burton, Conant, 
Crosby, Fuller, Jewell, Joslin, Lovett, 
Lowell, Mellen, Miller, Newton, Rogers, 
Sumner, Watson, Wilder, and Wright. 

By way of apology for the frequent use, 
in the preceding pages, of the " first person 
singular, tall and perpendicular," as Thack- 
eray once put it, I can only say that it 
seemed to be unavoidable in a collection 
of reminiscences, and I hope that it will be 
indulgently overlooked. 

A miserly person, when asked why he 
deprived himself of all luxuries for the sake 
of hoarding up his money for others to 
spend after his death, replied, " If they en- 
joy spending my money one half as much 
as I have enjoyed saving it, they are wel- 
come to it." 

And so I close this little volume with 



OLD BOSTON BOYS 207 

the thought that if any reader enjoys the 
trifles contained in it one half as much as 
I have enjoyed collecting them for him, I 
shall be well satisfied. 



APPENDIX 



FOUR WORDS FROM HIS 
CONTEMPORARIES 



u Quis perscribet ipsum scriptorem ? " 

AT the dinner mentioned in the 
" Foreword " the most important 
question before the meeting was, 
"Who shall chronicle the historian him- 
self ? " 

It was agreed — with but one emphatic 
negative — that it would be impossible for 
our old friend to employ successfully the 
first person singular, because a long disuse 
had probably rendered him incapable of 
rightly spelling that important personal 
pronoun in all its cases and forms. 

We have been immensely amused at his 
frantic efforts — stimulated by this stricture 



212 FOUR WORDS 

upon his unconquerable modesty — to tell 
something of his own part in the athletics 
of the old days. But the agreement was 
explicit, in spite of his vehement opposi- 
tion, that if there was not enough " ego " 
in the narrative, we, his less important con- 
temporaries, should exercise the reciprocal 
privilege of giving our recollections of him. 
Now, though he has striven manfully to 
tell about himself, we may say, as Patrick 
Henry did to George Washington, when 
he could not be prevailed upon to make a 
speech after having risen to do so, " Sit 
down, sir, sit down. Your modesty equals 
your valor, and both are invincible." We 
have therefore exercised a friendly com- 
pulsion in thus drawing his portrait. 

It was a time of fervid enthusiasm for 
many athletic sports, yet there was certainly 
no figure that so universally and instantly 
caught the eye of the spectator by a quite 
unique grace, strength, and speed, as that 
of our historian. This was as true in foot- 



FOUR WORDS 213 

ball as baseball, and his easy lead of even 
the best professionals was as marked in the 
gymnasium as on the Common. This su- 
premacy was known and acknowledged by 
every boy on the Campus in those days, 
except one, who will not believe it up to 
the present moment. The writer well re- 
members Lovett's catch, without gloves, of 
Ames's liner, which seemed simply miracu- 
lous, and certainly remains the best, even 
in these days of professional gladiators, to 
those who saw it. 

From one of his sisters comes this char- 
acteristic glimpse of our friend. On the 
day of this match, coming out of their house 
on Chestnut Street, her attention was ar- 
rested by a long-continued succession of 
cheers from the Common. On asking her 
brother Jim that evening the cause of this 
uproar, the only reply she could get was, 
" Oh, one of our fellows made a catch." 

In looking back it appears to at least 
one of us as if our chronicler had foreseen 



214 FOUR WORDS 

and taken as his model the spirit of that 
noble quatrain of Gelett Burgess, — 

" Not the quarry, but the Chase, 
Not the laurel, but the Race, 
Not the hazard, but the Play, 
Let me, Lord, prefer alway." 

Samuel Cabot. 



II 

22 The Fenway, Nov. 20, 1904. 

My dear Sam, — Thanks for your in- 
vitation. It will give me great pleasure to 
dine with you on the 29th, and it will be 
very pleasant to meet Jim Lovett again. 

On the Parade Ground in those old days 
he was The King. I gladly renew my 
allegiance ! I like to think of him (and 
often do) so manly and square and a mas- 
ter of the games ; and I wish I knew more 
of him in these days. With thanks, 
Yours, Robert S. Peabody. 



FOUR WORDS 215 

III 

Gerrit S. Miller, of Peterboro', N. Y., 
writes in part (of the book) : " It seems to 
be a gem of its kind, and the charm of 
Jim's unselfish, modest nature pervades it 
from beginning to end." (Of the man) 
" there was no one to compare with Jim 
Lovett as an all-round athlete. 

" In the gymnasium he was a wonder- 
ful combination of strength, agility, and 
grace." 

IV 

Between thirty and forty years ago these 
words of introduction would certainly have 
been needless ; and perhaps they are now. 
When the Messrs. Doherty write of ten- 
nis, or Mr. Travis of golf, in these days, 
the world of athletics, without prompting, 
recognizes the authority with which they 
speak and eagerly seeks what they have 
to say about the games in which they are 



2i6 FOUR WORDS 

preeminent. But here is a book by a writer 
who was all that they are and more, — 
marvelous as an athlete, idolized as a ball 
player, the most widely known and enthu- 
siastically admired young man of his day 
in New England. After all these years 
his name is still honored; and, because 
that name is so dear to those who were his 
playmates and are still his friends, they 
have asked a few to try to give his readers 
some impression as to the master right of 
Mr. Lovett to treat of athletic sports. 

His book fitly closes with the winding 
up of the famous Lowell Baseball Club of 
Boston, but it should be recorded that he 
continued to play often during two years 
with the amateur club which succeeded it, 
and gave invaluable aid in its early strug- 
gles against the same difficulties which the 
Lowells had encountered. His influence 
did not cease even then, for his example 
helped that club to keep alive for many 
years longer the traditions of amateur sport 



FOUR WORDS 217 

and fair play that prevailed in the days of 
which this book treats. I cannot believe 
that those traditions are to be entirely dis- 
carded. When Mr. Lovett was born, Bos- 
ton was a comparatively small city, smaller 
than Worcester or Columbus to-day ; now 
the community has so grown that no Bos- 
ton youth can ever again be first, as our 
friend was first about forty years ago. The 
changes in athletic sports, however, are as 
great as those in the city itself, and, in spite 
of all the progress and improvement, some- 
thing has been lost of the spirit that char- 
acterized the contests which this book re- 
calls. Yet it may be that this simple and 
straightforward story of friendly competi- 
tions will appeal to the generous spirit of 
the youth of to-day and help to revive, in 
baseball and similar contests, the courteous 
fairness which even now is not lacking in 
tennis and golf. 

A contrast between two baseball games 
at Cambridge, a quarter of a century apart, 



2i8 FOUR WORDS 

may illustrate this difference in spirit while 
it records the esteem in which Mr. Lovett 
was held by his opponents. Several years 
ago, when the Harvard nine was being out- 
played at Cambridge by the Princetons, I 
saw for the first time an organized effort 
by the home club's sympathizers to dis- 
concert their guests by noise. They suc- 
ceeded in doing so through the annoyance 
and confusion caused to pitcher and umpire 
by incessant and unwarranted cheering, 
very different from the genuine cheers 
which have their proper part in applauding 
and encouraging the players. The practice 
has since become common. 

In the other game the Harvard nine was 
being beaten by the Lowells ; and the de- 
feat was hard for them to bear, after their 
long lead had been overcome by the won- 
derful work of one man. He tells of the 
match in this book but does not do justice 
to the extraordinary part he played in it. 
He had begun the game at second base, 



FOUR WORDS 219 

hoping that another pitcher might prove 
more effective, and the day seemed lost 
to the Lowells when he went in to pitch. 
He simply mowed his opponents down, and 
but for errors they would not have scored 
another run ; while defeat was turned into 
victory for his side by his own terrific bat- 
ting, which included three home runs and 
a three-base hit with the bases full. When 
he had occasion to cross over to the Har- 
vard side of the field near the end of this 
exciting game, the leader of the Harvard 
cheering turned to his fellow students with 
a call for cheers " for Jimmy Lovett ; " and 
they were given with generous cordiality. 
There is the contrast, whatever its cause. 
The followers of modern athletic contests, 
in the strenuous spirit of " doing things " 
and "getting there," try to annoy and 
disturb the guest who is defeating their 
players, — but their predecessors cheered 
Jim Lovett. 

Henry W. Lamb, 



NOTES 



Page 61 
In an admirably written article in the " Har- 
vard Magazine" for June, 1858, which appeared 
shortly after this race, urging the imperative 
necessity for stricter training among the college 
oarsmen, the Volant crew is held up as an 
example in this direction ; and the self-compla- 
cency of the Huron boys, fostered by a recent 
victory over Yale, and also at Springfield and 
in the Fourth of July regatta on Charles River, 
is sat upon vigorously and no doubt with good 
results. The writer says that through these suc- 
cessive victories "their exultation was raised 
to its height." " But," he goes on to say, " we 
hear strange things about the prowess of the 
Volant Club ; and so a match is brought about. 
We hear that the townsmen are in training, and 
doing well ; we smile complacently and say, 
'Very good, — as good as can be expected/ — 



NOTES 221 

and eagerly double our bets. Reports of extraor- 
dinary trial speed reach us ; we do not waver, 
but think with undiminished confidence of that 
long stroke which is destined to tell in the third 
mile, when they are exhausted by their rapid 
rowing, and — we lose our money. The evidence 
of our eyes is hardly enough to convince us of 
our defeat. . . . We have been assured by two 
members that in no one instance did the Volant 
crew deviate from the rules of training. ... It 
is a mistake to suppose they beat the Hurons by 
their weight ; it was their severe, conscientious 
training ; their stern determination to win when 
it must have been agony to one of their number 
to row, and finally, their scrupulous attention 
to details, however trifling, that gave them the 
victory." 

The above extract from the " Harvard Maga- 
zine " is certainly a well deserved tribute to the 
iron will and grim determination of these old- 
time athletes, who, in the days when professional 
coaches were unknown, training tables unheard 
of, and the stimulus of enormous pecuniary re- 
ceipts was entirely lacking, could thus consci- 
entiously and systematically train themselves to 



ill NOTES 

such a degree of perfection. And all for what ? 
Purely and simply for the love of clean, whole- 
some sport and generous rivalry. Surely it is 
up to the young men in this day of tainted ath- 
leticism to lay the lesson of this singleness of 
purpose well to heart and not entirely lose sight 
of the fact that there is an ethical as well as a 
brutal side to field and water sports. 

Page 63 
This 1858 Fourth of July regatta was the 
longest race ever pulled in any Harvard College 
boat, and it is of more than common interest to 
know who the men were who could row a gruel- 
ling, six-mile race, under a July sun, without a 
mishap. Following are the names, weights, etc., 
of this famous old crew : — 

Benj. W. Crowninshield (stroke) 156 lbs. Class of '58 
Caspar Crowninshield 154" " " '6o 

Charles W. Eliot 138 " " " '53 

James H. Ellison 141 " " " '59 

J. H. Wales 136^" " " '61 

Alex. E. R, Agassiz (bow) 142 " " " '55 

The Harvard was the first shell ever owned 
by the College Navy and was but forty feet long, 



NOTES 223 

the shortest of the eight contesting boats, — 
"which fact no doubt cut the time of turning the 
stake boats by some valuable seconds. 

The time made by the four leading boats was 
as follows : Harvard, 40.25 ; Fort Hill Boy, 
41.44; Lexington, 42.30 ; Stirling, 43.04. 

The generous rivalry in athletic sports in those 
far-away days, compared with the cutthroat com- 
petition of the present time, is well illustrated 
by the fact that the Harvards, after the race, 
magnanimously added $25 of their $100 prize to 
the Fort Hill Boy's second prize of $50 — thus 
making an even division of the money. 

The finish of this race was close by the Union 
Club House at Braman's, so that the victorious 
crew was still three miles from home, but they 
at once started up the Charles and upon their 
arrival were greeted — not by the martial strains 
of a brass band and the frenzied cheers of a howl- 
ing mass of partisans intoxicated with joy over 
the victory, as would be the case to-day, but by 
one solitary professor, the late Frederic Dan 
Huntington, Bishop of Central New York ; and 
instead of being tenderly lifted from the boat in 
which they had done such Spartan work, and 



224 NOTES 

carried aloft in triumph, they were compelled 
to go up a rope, hand over hand, to the floor of 
the boathouse, the dignity of a raft still being a 
thing of the future. 

Three of this splendid, time-honored crew are 
still living, one, a star of the first magnitude in 
the world of science, and another the honored 
head of the university for which they fought so 
valiantly. The other three members lived until 
within a few years. 

The unswerving faith of the backers of the 
Fort Hill Boy up to the time of the pistol-shot 
announcing the start, and their consternation a 
little later at seeing the despised " Fops " sweep 
grandly over the line as the other pistol-shot 
rang out, telling of their victory, is humorously 
told by the Rev. William R. Huntington, Class 
of '59 (now rector of Grace Church, New York), 
in two songs, — the first supposed to have been 
sung before and the second after the race. They 
appeared in the "Harvard Magazine" for July, 
1858, and are as follows : — 



NOTES 225 

FIRST SONG 

MICHAEL TO PATRICK 

(Air, Paddy O'Rafferty.) 

Arrah, me Patsy ! jist look at the College boat : 
Niver afore did ye see so much knowledge float. 
Shure it 's a shame that their arms is n't bigger now, 
For it is muscle, not brains, that will figure now. 

(Chorus) O ye b'ys, ye fops, ye lady pets, 

Twinty to wan, and our word that we pay 
the bets. 

Only step here and obsarve the dhroll make of her. 
Shavin 's and wire is the notion ye take of her. 
Round as a pratie, and sharp as a pick, is she, 
But niver a match in a race for the Mickies she. 

(Chorus) O ye b'ys, ye fops, ye lady pets, 

Twinty to wan, and our word that we pay 
the bets. 

Twig the spoon oars what they pull her, me jewel, 

with ! 
Why don't they keep them to ate their oat-gruel with ? 
Wooden spoons shure is no sign of good luck at all ; 
Silver we '11 have, when the prize we have took it all. 



226 NOTES 

(Chorus) O ye b'ys, ye fops, ye lady pets, 

Twinty to wan, and our word that we pay 
the bets. 

SECOND SONG 

PATRICK TO MICHAEL 

(Air, Lillebullero.) 

Look ! look ! will ye, Mike, 
Ye ne'er saw the like : 
These childer have waxed us through and through. 
The studints is here, 
But, bad 'cess ! it is clear 
We '11 wait awhile now for the Irish crew. 
(Chorus) Har-r-vard ! Har-r-vard ! O ye spalpeens ! 
Have n't ye scattered my wages like 
smoke ? 

I can't pay a quarter 
The bets that I oughter. 
Divil fly off wid yer wondherful stroke. 

Jist hark to the yells 

Of thim Beacon Street swells, 
And see, over yonder, the cambric wave ; 

While Micky there stands, 

A-wringin' his hands, 
And Biddy is wipin' her eyes on her slave. 



NOTES 227 

(Chorus) Har-r-vard ! Har-r-vard ! O ye spalpeens ! 
Have n't ye scattered my wages like 
smoke ? 

I can't pay a quarter 
The bets that I oughter. 
Divil fly off wid yer wondherful stroke. 

Let 's scuttle our boats : 
Nary one of them floats 
But looks kind o' shamed about the bows ; 
And oh ! may the crews 
In future refuse 
To meddle with race-boats, and stick to their scows. 
(Chorus) Har-r-vard ! Har-r-vard ! O ye spalpeens ! 
Have n't ye scattered my wages like 
smoke ? 

I can't pay a quarter 
The bets that I oughter. 
Divil fly off wid yer wondherful stroke. 

Page 112 
The international four-oar race between the 
Harvards and Oxfords which was rowed on the 
Thames, over a course measuring four miles, 
three furlongs, on August 27, 1869, will long be 
remembered upon both sides of the big pond. It 



228 NOTES 

was the initial race between English and Ameri- 
can universities and was a superb exhibition of 
American pluck and endurance in the face of 
unfamiliar conditions and surroundings as well 
as of illness, which called forth enthusiastic 
praise from the generous sporting spirit of the 
English people, and it was estimated that at least 
a million spectators witnessed the event. 

The Harvards, being most desirous of meeting 
the English crew, yielded all disputed points 
and met them literally upon their own terms by 
agreeing to row a straight-away, four-oar race, 
with a coxswain (an officer which had not been 
known at Harvard for years), and over the Ox- 
ford's usual course on the Thames, from Putney 
to Mortlake. The race was rowed up stream 
with the tide, which runs about four miles an 
hour. The river, between the two points named, 
is very crooked, nearly S-shaped, full of eddies 
and shoals, crossed by three arched bridges, and 
in some places obstructed by piles. This course 
had been the scene of no less than twenty con- 
tests between Oxford and Cambridge, and of 
course was perfectly familiar to the English- 
men. 



NOTES 229 

The four Harvards originally picked for this 
race were Alden P. Loring, bow, George Bass, 
3, Sylvester W. Rice, 2, William H. Simmons, 
stroke, and Arthur Burnham, coxswain. They 
sailed for Europe July 10, arriving after a ten 
days' passage and about five weeks before the 
date set for the race. The London Rowing Club 
tendered them every civility and made them 
honorary members. Two American and three 
English boats had been built for and tried by 
them, but finally, three days before the race, an 
American boatbuilder, Elliott, who had brought 
over the knees and draughts of a new boat, com- 
pleted one which was preferred to all the others 
and forthwith adopted. About two weeks before 
the event the crew was changed and the follow- 
ing men rowed in the race : Joseph S. Fay, Jr., 
bow, F. O. Lyman, 3, William H. Simmons, 2, 
Alden P. Loring, stroke, and Arthur Burnham, 
coxswain. Their average weight was 1 50 pounds 
against their opponents' 1 56^ pounds. 

The English crew were : S. D. Darbishire, 
stroke, J. C. Tinne, A. C. Yarborough, F. Wil- 
lan, and J. H. Hall, coxswain. 

They were eight wonderful oarsmen, the flower 



230 NOTES 

of two great universities, and were bound to give 
a good account of themselves. 

This great race is now ancient history, but it 
is well to recall to later generations the gallant 
fight which these Harvard boys made against 
a crew picked from the eight men who had 
won nine straight victories for the dark blue of 
Oxford. They were all veterans at the oar and 
considered the finest four which ever rowed on 
the Thames. Most unfortunately two of the 
Harvards were overtrained and stale several 
days before the race ; but in spite of all obstacles 
and drawbacks they were game to the core and 
rowed a grand race, and although beaten, all 
honor is due to the boys who went three thou- 
sand miles from home to do battle for their 
university. 

The time made by the Oxfords was 22.41 J, and 
the Harvards followed in 22.47J. The referee 
was Thomas Hughes, of " Tom Brown " fame. 

The great lesson learned from this race was 
the absolute necessity for a " coach/' a man 
whose word is law in the boat and out of the 
boat. Such a man, if competent, is of untold 
comfort to a training crew in managing all the 



NOTES 231 

thousand and one little details that worry a cap- 
tain and take the edge off that keenness which 
is so all-important for him to carry into the 
race. In the science of boating the services of 
a "coach" have long been recognized as indis- 
pensable. Had this lesson been learned by Har- 
vard before going to England, — who knows ? 
perhaps a different tale would have been told. 

It has been shown in the preceding pages 
how, by mere chance, magenta was made the 
Harvard color and remained so for eight years, 
and it may interest those not cognizant of the 
fact to learn that in 1858, owing to a somewhat 
similar circumstance, the college color escaped 
being blue by a very close margin. 

To quote freely from the "Harvard Book," 
published in 1875, to which I am indebted for 
many points in the foregoing English race, it 
came about in this way : When the first 'Varsity 
crew was organized in 1856, the uniform was a 
white shirt with a cap copied from that of the 
St. John Union Club, white with scarlet band 
and no visor. The 'Varsity crew of 1858 found, 
however, that handkerchiefs were a convenient 
sort of head gear and decided to adopt them. 



INDEX 



Abercrombie, D. Putnam, 

154- 
Adams, T. Spencer, 148, 152, 

163, 164. 
Agassiz, A. E. B., 59. 
Alden, John, 109. 
Alline, W. H., 35, 78, 161, 163, 

164. 
Allison, Douglas, 202. 
Ames, Prof. James Barr, 85, 

179, 180. 
Amory, Edward, 35. 
Anderson B. B. C, 196. 
Andrew, John A., 80. 
Appleton, George B., 205. 
Appleton, Capt. Nathan, 35, 75. 
April 1 hoax, 48. 
Archibald, Edward, 143. 
Arnold, Edward L., 93-95. 
Arnold, George, 144, 152. 
Athletic B. B. C., 187. 
Athletic goods, 134. 
Atlantic B. B. C, 162, 168, 169. 
Austin, Samuel, 109. 

Back Bay, 13. 
Bacon, George H., 107. 
Banker, B., 148. 
Barron, John, 79. 



Base, 126. 

Baseball, origin of, 126. 

Baseball, old Massachusetts 
game, 127, 128, 140; boy's 
method of choosing sides, 
137 ; New York game, 140 ; 
first match in New England 
under New York rules, 141; 
in politics, 197. 

Bean blowers, 19. 

Bear dance, 118. 

Beebe, J. Arthur, 96, 97. 

Belches, Clude, 176. 

Bigelow, Albert S., 4. 

Bigelow, Horatio, 4. 

Bigelow, , 144. 

Biglin Brothers, 51. 

Blaikie, Thomas, 53, 83. 

Blaikie, William, 53, 54, 83. 

Blanchard, Thomas, 78, 79. 

Blashfield, Edwin H., 104. 

Boardman, T. Dennie, 4. 

Bodge, Dr. James, 83. 

Boit, Robert A., 82, 93, 94. 

Boston B. B. C, 204. 

Boston Common plowed up, 
197. 

Boston Public Latin School, 
4, 8i f 106, 122, 174. 



236 



INDEX 



Bowditch, Edward, 93, 94. 
Bowdoin B. B. C, 143. 
Bow guns, 21. 
Boxing, no. 
Boylston Hall, 106. 
Bradford, John H., 82. 
Bradish, Albert, 131. 
Bradstreet, Augustus, 96, 131. 
Bradstreet, Samuel, 96-98, 129, 

146. 
Brainard, Asa, 150, 163, 202. 
Braman's Baths, 49. 
Braman, Grenville T. W., 59. 
Braman, Jarvis D., 58. 
Britt, James, 113. 
Brooks, Arthur, 96, 123. 
Burgess, Edward, 98, 100. 

Cabot, Samuel, 96, 99. 
Carroll, Jack, 35. 
Chadwick, Henry, 127. 
Chadwick, Dr. J. R., 35, 82. 
Chamberlin, Charles W., 35, 

72. 
Chandler, Horace P., 145. 
Chandler, Moses E., 144, 152, 

153. 
Chandler, Hon. Peleg W., 145. 

Charter Oak B. B. C, 192. 

Chickering, Jonas, 94. 

Cigarette smoking, 7. 

Circuses, 16. 

Cincinnati Red Stockings' phe- 
nomenal tour, 210. 

Civil War, 104, 117, 128, 144. 

Clark, ArthurH., 34, 56, 58, 63. 

Clark, Edward, 53, 83. 

Clark, Robert F., 34, 55, 56, 
58, 62. 



Clark, , 148. 

Coasting, 29. 
Coe, Oliver B., 109. 
Coe, Henry F., 144. 
Codman, Doctor, no. 

Cook, , 1 50. 

Coughlihan, John, 108. 

Crane, Fred, 185. 

Creighton, James, 150, 151, 

153, 190. 
Cricket, 75. 
Crosby, Albert, 143. 
Crowninshield, Caspar, 61. 
Crowninshield, Fredk., 35, 72. 
Crowley, Daniel, no. 

Crowley, , 143. 

Cummings, , 190. 

Curtis, Edgar, 4, 35. 

Curtis, Horatio G., 35, 75, 101. 

Dale, Eben, 35. 
Daly, Thomas, 61, 62. 
Dams, 10. 
Davis, Frank, 93, 97. 

Daw, , 61. 

Dillaway, Charles, no. 

Dinsmore, , 144. 

Dixwell, E. S., 81. 

Dixwell's Private Latin School, 

8,81. 
Doldt, John C, 107, 108, no, 

114. 
Doyle, Thomas, 55, 62. 
Duck shooting, 66. 
Duff, John, 83. 
Dwight, Dr. Thomas, 82, 83. 

Edmands, Col. Thomas F., 36. 
Elliot, W. H., 59, 62. 



INDEX 



237 



Ellsworth, Col., 118. 
Ellsworth Zouaves, 118. 
Eon B. B. C, 177, 187. 

Erving, , 62. 

Excelsior B. B. C, 149, 162. 

Fandangoes, 12. 
Fay, Henry H., 96. 
Fay, Joseph S., 96, 112. 
Fay, William P., 35. 
Faulkner, John, 26. 
Fenno, Edward N., 83, 112. 
Field, W. DeYoung, 96. 
Fiske, Charles, 154. 
Fiske, William, 109. 
Fitzsimmons, Robert, 113. 
Flagg, George A., 154, 182. 
Flagstaff Hill, 33, 100. 
Flanly, George, 150, 163. 

Fletcher, , 144. 

Fletcher, 163. 

Flyaway B. B. C, 179. 
Follow my Leader, n. 
Football, 81. 

Forbes, Hon. John M., 80. 
Forbes, J. Malcolm, 80, 91, 97, 

112. 
Forbush, Harry, 129, 144. 
Fort Wagner, 121. 
Fort Warren, 123. 
Freeman, Horace V., 35. 
Freeman, P. Wilder, Jr.,35, 121. 
French, Charles, no. 
French, William, 146. 
Frog Pond, 13, 17, 70. 
Frothingham, Donald, 53, 83. 
Frothingham, Frederick, 53. 
Frothingham, Robert, 53. 
Frothingham, Samuel, 53, 8^> 



Gardner, Francis, 4, 106, 173, 
174. 

Gardner, , 143. 

Gill, Harry, 143. 
Goddard, William, 82. 
Godfrey, George, in. 
Goldsmith, W. G., 59, 62. 
Goss, George, 109. 
Gould, Charles, 202. 
Granite B. B. C, 184. 
Greenleaf, Eugene D., 154. 
Greenough, Alfred, 34, 82. 
Greenough, Charles P., 35. 
Greenough, Malcolm, 96. 
Guild, Benjamin F., 144. 

Hall, John P., 53, 85, 91, 93, 

103, in. 
Hammill, James, 51. 
Hampshire B. B. C, 161. 
Hancock B. B. C, 129. 
Hand fire engines, 67. 
Hanlon Brothers, 114. 
Hanlon, Thomas, 114, 115. 
Hanlon, William, 114. 
Harlow, Edward, 176. 
Harmony, Lieut., U. S. N., 

189. 
Harrington, Eben, 55. 
Harris, Dr. Frank A., 154. 
Harvard B. B. C, organization 

of, 153. 
Harvards and Athletics, 187. 
Hawes, Henry, 148, 173, 174. 
Hawley, James, 4. 
Heavy weight system, 117. 
Heenan, John C, 113. 
Herreshoff, Frank, 192. 
Herreshoff, Nathaniel, 193. 



a 3 8 



INDEX 



Higginson, Francis L., 75. 
Hill, James, 110-112. 
Hockey, 22. 
Holmes, Edward, 65. 
Holmes, Dr. Oliver Wendell, 

57, 65. 
Hovey, Henry S., 4. 
Hovey, James L., 176. 
Howe, Archibald M., 4. 
Howland, Otis N., 109. 
Hunnewell, Arthur, 154. 
Hunnewell, Walter, 82, 97. 

Ice hockey, 115. 

Jackson, Charles C, 75. 
Jackson, Frank, 53. 
Jackson, James, 75. 
Jackson, Patrick T., 82, 99. 
Jamaica Pond, 15. 
Jarvis Field, 186. 
Jewell, Edward, 191. 

Jewell, , 163. 

Joslin, William B., 78, 148, 152, 

161, 163, 164, 191. 
Julio, Everett, 109. 
Jumping, 100. 

Kendall, Edward, 35. 
Kendrick, Thomas, no. 
Kennedy, Mortimer, 109. 
King Phillip B. B. C, 184. 
Kimball, Tread well, 107-109. 

Kinsley, , 62. 

Kite flying, 43. 

Lawrence, Frank, 35. 
Lawrence, Dr. Robt. M., 4, 83, 
93, 94- 



Leach, George B., 143. 

Leggett, Joseph, 150, 151, 190. 

Leonard, Andrew, 202. 

Little finger pull-up, 116. 

Locusts, 18. 

Lodge, Henry Cabot, 95. 

Long coast, 31. 

Longest prize fight on record, 

"3- 
Longwood Cricket Club, 76. 
Loring, Frank, 75. 

Loring, , 174. 

Lovett, Charles W., Jr., 36, 66. 
Lowell, John' A., 143, 145, 146, 

150, 159, 163, 164, 176, 198, 

200. 
Lowell B. B. C, organization 

of, 146. 
Lowells and Athletics, 187. 
Lowells and Atlantics, 168. 
Lowells and Brown University, 

192-194. 
Lowells and Excelsiors, 190. 
Lowells and Flyaways, 177. 
Lowells and Hampshires, 161. 
Lowells and Harvards, 160, 

161, 170, 171, 177, 186, 195, 

196. 
Lowells and Medfords, 147. 
Lowells and Mutuals, 200. 
Lowells and Phillips Academy, 

182. 
Lowells' New England trip, 

190. 
Lowells' New York trip, 162. 
Lowells and Red Stockings, 

203. 
Lowells and Rockinghams, 

189. 



INDEX 



2 39 



Lowells and Tri-Mountains, 
159, 189. 

Lowells and Yales, 191. 

Lowell B. B. C, its dissolu- 
tion, 204. 

Lurking or " off side," 99. 

Lyman, Charles, 4. 

Lyman, Frederick, 4. 

Lyman, George H., 96. 

Lyons, , 144. 

Magenta as Harvards' color, 

154- 
Manning, Frank H., 96. 
Mansfield, George, no. 
Marbles, 41. 
Mason, Philip, 75. 
McBurney, Dr. Charles, 82, 

S3- 
McBurney, John, 83. 
McVey, Calvin, 202. 
Mellen, Moses, 78, 79. 
Mifflin, George H., 72, 75, 96. 
Military funeral, 121. 
Miller, Gerrit S., 81, 83, 85, 

93, 100, 147, 152, 153, 161, 

163, 169, 190. 
Morse, Charles, 96. 
Morse, E. Rollins, 96. 
Motley, Thomas, 96. 
Mudge, Joseph, no. 
Muliken, John, 35. 
Mutual B. B. C, 200. 

National game, the, 127, 128. 
Nazro, Fred. H., 131, 183. 
Nelson, " Battling," 113. 
Nelson, Thomas, 83, 88, 89, 97, 
154, 171. 



Nelson's great strike, 171. 
Newell, Robert, 82. 
Nicholson, Frank, 96. 
Norton, Frank, 168, 169. 

Oceanic B. B. C, 192. 
Olympic B. B. C, 129. 
Omnibuses, 8. 
Oneida Football Club, 91. 
Open jackets, 6. 
Outfielding, up to date, 166. 
Oviatt, John, 83, 131. 

Paine, Sumner, 83. 

Parade Ground, 22, 23, 48, 96, 

100, 102, 203. 
Parker, George, 154. 
Parker, John, 109. 
Parkman, S. B., 59-61. 
Peabody, Rev. Frank G M 35, 

83» 93- 
Peabody, Robert S., 82, 83, 97. 
Pearce, Richard, 164, 165. 

Pearsall, , 150. 

Perch Rocks, 44. 
Phelps, Franklin, 3, 4. 
Phillips Academy B. B. C, 

182. 
Phillips School, 80, 
Plummer, H. P., 109. 

Polhemus, , 150. 

Portland B. B. C, 141. 
Portland big fire, 177. 
Pratt, Robert M., 56, 58, 62. 
Proctor, George, 109. 
Public Garden, 11, 16. 
Punk, 10. 

Putnam, John, 56-58. 
Putty balls, 21. 



240 



INDEX 



Rand, Charles, 82. 

Rapp, , 148. 

Recruiting on Boston Com- 
mon, 120. 

Resolute B. B. C, 162. 

Richards, George G., 146. 

Richards, Jeremiah, 148. 

Rimmer, Dr., 108. 

Robins, Richard, 35. 

Rockingham B. B. C, 189. 

Rogers, Henry M., 42. 

Rogers, Mortimer M., 165, 185, 
191. 

Ropes, Henry, 62. 

Rounders, 126, 127. 

Rowing, 53, 55. 

Russell, Cabot, 96, 121. 

Russell, , 150. 

St. George Cricket Club, 76. 
Saltzman, E.G., 140, 141, 144, 

152. 
Sanguilly, William B., 53. 
Sargent, Daniel, 34, 37. 
Sargent, William, 90. 
Sawyer, B. George, 143. 
Sayers, Tom, 113. 
Scudder, Winthrop S., 93, 94. 
Shattuck, Dr. Fred. C, 83. 
Shaw, Robert G., 186. 
Shea, John, no. 
Shimmin, Charles F., 62. 
Shurtleff, Dr. Nathaniel B., 

43, 200. 
Shurtleff, Nathaniel B., Jr., 

122. 
Silver ball, 159; its destruction, 

160; its withdrawal, 189. 
Skates, 14. 



Smith, M. S., 62. 

Snowballs, 27. 

Snow Brothers, no. 

Snow forts, 26. 

South and West End fights, 

22. 
Spaulding, Albert G., 126. 
Sprague, Edward E., 154. 
Spring, William, no. 
Stafford, Marshall P., 146. 
Stanwood, Lemuel, 96. 
Start, Joe, 168. 
Stevenson, Robert H., 56, 58. 
Stevenson, Gen. Thomas G., 

56, 58. 

Stewart, , 106. 

Stewart's Gymnasium, 106. 
Stilts, 46. 
Storrow, J. J., 59. 
Streeter, Lee, no. 
Sturgis, Dr. Fred, 65. 
Sturgis, Henry, 75. 
Sullivan, George S. B., 146. 
Sumner, Frank, 163, 164, 185, 

191. 
Sweasey, Charles, 202. 

Thayer, Van Rensselaer, 96. 

Thies, Louis, 93, 94. 

Tip-cat, 46. 

Three old cats, 127. 

Tops, 45. 

Towne, Alexander, 72. 

Town ball, 127. 

Town crier, 9. 

Tremont Gymnasium, 107, 114. 

Tri-Mountain B. B. C, 141, 

169. 
Triple trapeze act, 114. 



INDEX 



241 



Troupe, Charles, 46, 135, 152. 
Tucker, Lawrence, 82, 93, 94. 
Tyler, John, 53, 64. 

Underhand throwing, 151. 

Volant crew, 56. 

Volant and Huron race, 56. 

Walcott, C. F., 59, 62. 
Walley, William, 96. 
Ward, Josh, 51. 
Warren, Dr. J. Collins, 75. 
Waterman, Frederick, 202. 
Watson, R. Clifford, 83, 85, 

86, 93. 
Webster, Col. Fletcher, 122. 



Wells, Dr. Frank, 35. 
Whitman, Alfred, Jr., 59, 109. 
Whitman, Henry, 109. 
Wilder, George B., 146, 147, 

152, 163, 164. 
Wildes, Frank, 35. 
Winship, Dr., 116. 
Winship Gymnasium, 116. 
Wolcott, Huntington, 93, 94, 

121. 

Wolcott, Roger, 94. 
Wright, Frank, 154, 155. 
Wright, George, 76, 77, 202. 
Wright, Harry, 202. 

Young, , 150. 

Young Men's Christian Ass'n, 
108. 



INDEX TO NOTES 



Agassiz, Alex. E. R., 222. 

Bass, George, 229. 

Burnham, Arthur, 229. 

Crimson, formally adopted 
as Harvard color, 232. 

Crowninshield, Benj. W., 
222. 

Crowninshield, Caspar, 222. 

Darbishire, S. D., 229. 

Eliot, Charles W., 222. 

Ellison, James H., 222. 

Fay, Joseph S., Jr., 229. 

Hall, J. H., 229. 

Harvard-Oxford race, 227. 

Huntington, Bishop Fred- 
eric Dan, 223. 

Huntington, Rev. Wm. R., 
224. 

London Rowing Club, 229. 



Loring, Alden P., 229. 
Lyman, F. O., 229. 
Rice, Sylvester W., 229. 
Shell, first one owned by 

Harvard College, 222. 
Shell, first six-oar built in 

America, 232. 
Simmons, Wm. H., 229. 
Sliding seats, introduction 

of, 232. 
Spoon oars, introduction of, 

232. 
Tinne, J. C, 229. 
Volant and Huron race, 

220. 
Volant crew, 220, 221. 
Wales, J. H., 222. 
Willan, F., 229. 
Yarborough, A. C, 229. 



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